The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


October 18, 2013

Verdict clears attorney; city gets nothing



As he represented the city, Walker told the City Council it faced a potential $40 million liability, which was based on a ratio from coding and billing expert retained in the Schultheis case, Douglas Wolfberg. According to Wolfberg, Walker told the council, the national average for ambulance calls is 60 or 70 percent ALS and 30 or 40 percent BLS. At the time, the city's Medicare billings were around 99 percent ALS.

Wolfberg's testimony in the legal malpractice case revealed this ratio was never meant to be construed as the national average and likely was relayed to Walker as a figure based on Wolfberg's experience and not hard, fast facts.

However, the 60 or 70 percent ALS rate was not far from the actual 64 to 68 percent average ALS rate from 2005 to 2008, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The city now bills 86 percent ALS with billing handled by an outside agency since 2010, a fact the defense used throughout the trial.

The city's attorneys presented a dozen witnesses over the course of nine days. Former Fire Chief Mark Regenwether, Schultheis, Walker, Clinton firefighter Andy McGovern, Vulich, city of Clinton accounting specialist Sarah Nolan, Clinton firefighter Joel Atkinson, former Human Resource Director David Geisler, former Clinton Fire Department Medical Director Dr. Douglas Jergenson, Safety Director Jeff Chapman, firefighter Chris Melvin and False Claims Act expert Ronald Clark testified in the city's case. The firefighters denied the accusations Schultheis made that McGovern had told everyone to code everything at ALS and to give all patients a heart rate monitor, IV and oxygen. McGovern explained why he believed in his method of coding and that there was never any intent to defraud the federal government. They were shocked to learn the city had settled, they said.

If there were any incorrect claims, Hannafan told the jury, it didn't mean they were necessarily false or actionable under the False Claims Act. He argued Walker could have exercised innocent mistakes and negligence if the case had gone to trial.

Text Only
  • Interest in Ernst rises as his game does, too

    Brady Ernst is having a summer to remember.
    The rising River King senior is spending the summer playing for the Iowa Barnstormers traveling basketball team. This weekend they're playing in the Fab48 tournament in Las Vegas.

    July 26, 2014

  • PHOTOS: Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners

    Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners - Majors, Minors, Pee Wee

    July 25, 2014

  • JUST IN: Man shot in downtown Clinton

    A 32-year-old man was shot in downtown Clinton early today.

    July 25, 2014

  • YWCA offers lifeguard training

    CLINTON — The YWCA will offer lifeguard training in August.The course will be held from Aug. 4 to 10 at the YWCA. This 30-hour class will meet from 5 to 9 p.m. for four weeknights and from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. A possibility of adding a class from 1

    July 25, 2014

  • Concurrent terms ordered in burglary case

    CLINTON — A Clinton man will serve four concurrent prison terms for his role in a string of 2012 burglaries.Assistant Clinton County Attorney Amanda Myers on Thursday requested the court to order Cory Mitchell, 38, to serve as much as 10 years in pri

    July 25, 2014

  • Whitecaps take away Clinton offense CLINTON — The Clinton LumberKings (13-19, 43-57) mustered only five hits as the visiting West Michigan Whitecaps (20-12, 61-41) shut down the hometown club at Ashford University Field.Whitecaps’ starter Jonathon Crawford (6-2) allowed only four men t

    July 25, 2014

  • 7-25-14 1B-Photo, Clinton track Clinton king of Brady DAVENPORT — It might not have been the blue oval, but Clinton track can place its mark at the top of the hill.The quartet of Barrion Collins, Marquis Robinson, Quavon Jones and Deshond Robinson won the high school boys division of the Battle Up Brady

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Habitat for Humanity hosts fundraiser

    CLINTON — Habitat for Humanity will host a fundraiser in Thomson, Illinois.The Clinton County group will showcase Laid Back Luau from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8, at Heirloom Cafe in Thomson. The event will feature games, prizes, music train rides for

    July 25, 2014

  • 7-24-14 1B-Photo, Choice 2 Cinderella run ends DUBUQUE — The playoff run was fun while it lasted. Dubuque Hempstead, the No. 1-ranked baseball team in Class 4A entering Wednesday, ended Clinton’s chances at back-to-back appearances in the state tournament in Des Moines. The Mustangs knocked out t

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-24-14 Used Book Sale Prep Finding a (temporary) new home CLINTON — The harsh winter delivered a devastating loss to the Friends of the Library.Now, months later, the Friends have regrouped and are ready to showcase its used books — albeit in a new school building.For several years, the Friends hosted its a

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Clinton Herald Photos

Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.