Premier's brother-in-law named interim CEO of eHealth Ontario
Published Tuesday, April 15, 2014 1:14PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 15, 2014 2:35PM EDT
Premier Kathleen Wynne’s brother-in-law has been appointed interim CEO of eHealth Ontario.
David Rounthwaite, brother of Wynne’s wife, Jane, has been the top lawyer at the government agency -- tasked with setting up electronic health records for everyone in Ontario by 2015 -- for nearly five years.
As interim CEO, Rounthwaite will not get a raise and will only serve until a permanent CEO can be found.
While the appointment is raising some eyebrows at Queen’s Park, the premier’s office says it had no involvement in the decision.
Rather, his appointment was made by the eHealth board last month, reportedly after the former interim CEO and board chair, Ray Hession, stepped down to take care of his ailing wife.
Hession had taken over from Greg Reed, who exited under a cloud of criticism after it was revealed he received a $406,000 severance package despite holding the post for only three years.
Reed was brought in by the governing Liberals to help clean up eHealth, which was facing criticism for mismanagement and overspending.
In 2009, the auditor general reported $1-billion had been been spent by the agency as it tried to develop electronic health records, but with very little progress.
Instead, much of that money went to untendered contracts for highly-paid consultants who then billed taxpayers for additional expenses, leading to a scandal in 2009 that led to the resignation of then-health minister David Caplan.
David Rounthwaite, the brother-in-law of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, has been appointed interim CEO at eHealth Ontario.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, left, and her partner Jane Rounthwaite, right, greet supporters and her caucus at a rally during the party's annual general meeting in Toronto on Saturday, March 22, 2014. (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS)