The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

October 2, 2013

TRIAL UPDATE: Regenwether testimony details fire department's EMS billing process

DAVENPORT — Former Clinton Fire Chief Mark Regenwether concluded his testimony in the city of Clinton's legal malpractice suit Wednesday morning.

Regenwether was called by the city of Clinton Tuesday as the first witness as the city tries to prove legal malpractice on the part of attorney Michael Walker and his law firm Hopkins and Huebner.

The city claims Walker’s negligence in an emergency medical services case resulted in the city reaching a $4.5 million settlement with whistleblower Timothy Schultheis and the U.S. Department of Justice in 2010.

Walker’s firm was retained to represent the city’s interests in 2009 after Schultheis filed a complaint under the Federal False Claims Act that emergency medical calls handled by city ambulances were being improperly coded. By listing even routine calls as advanced life support calls rather than basic life support calls, Schultheis claimed the city was able to receive higher reimbursement rates from Medicare and Medicaid.

Attorney Mike Hannafan, who is with one of two firms the city hired to pursue the legal malpractice case, started the third day of the trial by asking Regenwether about a meeting that happened in February 2009 with Regenwether, then EMS director Andrew McGovern, former city attorney Paul Walter, Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen McGuire and Kory Ihnken, an investigator with the U.S. Attorney General's office.

Although Regenwether was unaware at the time because Schultheis's federal lawsuit was still under seal, Schultheis had been in contact with McGuire and Ihnken about the city's alleged Medicare fraud.

Regenwether testified that he understood the meeting was about the fact that 99 percent of the city's Medicare calls reviewed were ALS as was indicated by a letter from McGuire he received in a month earlier, but was not told the city was being investigated for Medicare fraud. During the meeting, city representatives were asked to explain the city's coding and billing procedures for emergency medical services.

Text Only
Top News
  • Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

    Astronomers have discovered what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet detected — a distant, rocky world that's similar in size to our own and exists in the Goldilocks zone where it's not too hot and not too cold for life.

    The find, announced Thursday, excited planet hunters who have been scouring the Milky Way galaxy for years for potentially habitable places outside our solar system.

    April 17, 2014

  • Defend 'Obamacare' unabashedly, some Democrats say

    With enrollments higher than expected, and costs lower, some Democrats say it's time to stop hiding from the president's health care overhaul, even in this year's toughest Senate elections.

    Republicans practically dare Democrats to embrace "Obamacare," the GOP's favorite target in most congressional campaigns. Yet pro-Democratic activists in Alaska are doing just that, and a number of strategists elsewhere hope it will spread.

    April 17, 2014

  • Search for Chicago site for George Lucas museum

    As Yoda might say: A site for a museum you must find.

    Those are the marching orders Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is giving a dozen civic leaders as the city searches for a potential location for an interactive museum to house filmmaker George Lucas' collection of art and filmmaking memorabilia.

    April 17, 2014

  • Illinois unemployment drops to 5-year-low

    State officials say unemployment in Illinois dropped in March to 8.4 percent. That's its lowest level since 2009.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gaming commission rejects Cedar Rapids casino

    The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission rejected a proposed $164 million Cedar Rapids casino Thursday, saying it would hurt existing casinos.

    Supporters of the Cedar Crossing Casino development have said it would give an economic boost to Cedar Rapids and the region. They also argued it would be a catalyst for development in an area ravaged by a 2008 flood, create jobs and generate millions for tax revenue and charities.

    April 17, 2014

  • Iowa Senate race suddenly more competitive

    A catchy political ad and a gotcha video have raised Republican hopes of capturing the Senate seat in Iowa, a prospect that would greatly enhance the party's chances of regaining control of the Senate.

    Republicans are adding the seat, held for three decades by retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, to their list of winnable races in the November midterm elections.

    April 17, 2014

  • Evacuation came too late for many on sinking ferry

    An immediate evacuation order was not issued for the ferry that sank off South Korea's southern coast, likely with scores of people trapped inside, because officers on the bridge were trying to stabilize the vessel after it started to list amid confusion and chaos, a crew member said Thursday.

    Meanwhile, the coast guard said it was investigating whether the ferry's captain was one of the first ones off the sinking ship.

    April 17, 2014

  • Putin hopes no need to send troops into Ukraine

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday rejected claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, but recognized for the first time that the troops in unmarked uniforms who had overtaken Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula before its annexation by Moscow were Russian soldiers.

    April 17, 2014

  • AGENDA: 4-21-14 Clinton School Board Committee of the Whole

    The Clinton Community School Board will meet April 21 at 6 p.m. at the Clinton Administration Center.

    April 17, 2014

  • Study: Diabetic heart attacks and strokes falling

    In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: Heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting.

    Over the last two decades, the rates of heart attacks and strokes among diabetics fell by more than 60 percent, a new federal study shows. The research also confirms earlier reports of drastic declines in diabetes-related kidney failure and amputations.

    April 17, 2014

AP Video