A letter from a general counsel of a privately-owned hospital crossed my desk last week. The institution holds a special place in my heart...it's where I started life a few years ago (How many? Doesn't matter to this story!).
He was responding to a newspaper's sunshine law request. The newspaper wanted access to certain records relating to the contract the hospital has with a local county to provide ambulance service.
The letter raises a lot of issues and the newspaper is in the process of addressing those issues further. But one sentence in the letter just stands out. If it reflects the quality of the work this general counsel does, the hospital better check itself into its emergency room, because it needs emergency care. "...[T]he ambulance district is a quasi public governmental body..." the letter says, referring to a county's ambulance district.
I believe, unless I'm mistaken, this county's ambulance district is an entity created by Missouri statute. If I'm right, then for this attorney to say it's a "quasi" public body makes me wonder about the quality of the rest of the legal conclusions he's reached.
Maybe the hospital better keep the phone close. It may need to call 911 sooner than it thinks!