BLACKFOOT — The Louis Kraml era at Bingham Memorial Hospital is over.
Bingham Memorial officials said that Chief Executive Officer Kraml resigned his position during Thursday night’s hospital board meeting. Kraml could not be reached for comment.
The hospital issued a press release following the meeting stating that Bingham Memorial Chief Financial Officer Jeff Daniels has been named interim CEO by the hospital board.
It’s unclear exactly what led to Kraml’s resignation but media reports earlier Thursday indicated that Kraml and Bingham Memorial had filed a lawsuit against the hospital board, accusing some board members of meeting and making decisions without the consent of the rest of the board.
Bingham Memorial officials confirmed Thursday night that the lawsuit had been filed, but they said it was never served. The officials said the hospital would request the suit be dismissed on Friday.
The Journal began receiving calls immediately following Thursday’s night’s hospital board meeting from individuals close to Kraml who said that he had resigned.
Under Kraml’s leadership, Bingham Memorial went from being a small rural hospital with limited services to a thriving regional medical center that competed with the larger Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls to the north and Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello to the south.
But along the way, Bingham Memorial caught the attention of the Idaho Attorney General’s Office.
In 2013, Kraml was among four Bingham Memorial employees charged by Attorney General Lawrence Wasden in an apparent wiretapping case. Most of the charges filed by the attorney general were eventually dropped, but Kraml was convicted of a misdemeanor stalking charge in the matter. He was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and fined $1,000.
The case involved the Bingham Memorial employees allegedly intercepting and taping phone calls made by a doctor at the hospital.
The Attorney General’s Office was not finished with Bingham Memorial after that and this past August announced it had been investigating the hospital for alleged misuse of charitable assets. The attorney general and Bingham Memorial agreed to a settlement in which the hospital promised to review and, if needed, revise its policies regarding charitable assets. The hospital was also fined $50,000.
All through these dealings with the Attorney General’s Office, the hospital board publicly supported Kraml.
In Thursday night’s press release, the hospital board said that during Kraml’s more than 15 years as CEO he was “instrumental in the transformation and growth the hospital has experienced.”
“We recognize the accomplishments of Mr. Kraml in moving Bingham Memorial forward,” said hospital board chairwoman Alice Cannon in the press release. “The growth and success of Bingham Memorial has been in large part due to his unwavering commitment to superb patient care and his vision for our community owned hospital.”
The hospital’s press release also said that Bingham Memorial will be in good hands moving forward with Daniels at the helm. Daniels has been CFO at Bingham Memorial for the past 10 years and “has over 35 years of leadership experience in the health care industry,” according to the press release.
“Jeff has been an integral part of our growth and success,” Cannon said. “He is in the perfect position to continue our tradition of delivering quality patient care and will provide stability and continuity in our continued success as a regional health care provider.”