Hacienda HealthCare internal investigator Rick Romley resigns

Mar 1, 2019, 8:15 AM | Updated: 11:55 am
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – The attorney who was hired to conduct an internal investigation of Hacienda HealthCare after a incapacitated patient gave birth is resigning.

Rick Romley, who led the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for 15 years, is leaving the review of the Phoenix care facility that he began mid-January, Gov. Doug Ducey’s office confirmed Friday.

Ducey spokesman Patrick Ptak said Arizona Department of Health Services employees have been monitoring the facility on-site and patient care shouldn’t be affected.

ABC15 reported late Thursday that Romley said he had issues with Hacienda’s board of directors and their level of cooperation.

At the time he was hired, Romley said Hacienda officials have given him their full assurances that “this matter was serious and they wanted to correct this.”

He also said some aspects of the investigation — focused on management practices and security procedures — would possibly be kept out of the public eye.

Hours before Romley said he was leaving, the chairman of the board of directors announced he was quitting.

Tom Pomeroy said his resignation was effective Friday.

“If Hacienda is to move forward after the deeply disturbing events of the past few months, it’s clear that the organization needs new leadership,” Pomeroy said.

Hacienda’s board of directors shut down the intermediate care unit in early February.

Nathan Sutherland, a nurse at the care facility, was indicted on sexual assault charges of the 29-year-patient.

Staff was unaware the woman was pregnant until she went into labor Dec. 29.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Hacienda HealthCare internal investigator Rick Romley resigns