FORT MYERS, FL - The director of Lee County EMS has retired and the deputy director has been placed on administrative leave in the latest fallout from the MEDSTAR shutdown fiasco. The county's medical helicopter program was abruptly shuttered in mid-August, with administrators claiming at the time that it was being done to focus on accreditation. But since that story, information about $3 million of improper billing and personnel issues has surfaced, casting doubt on the accreditation claim. County Manager Karen Hawes announced the change in leadership at the agency an email reading:
This is to inform you that Public Safety Director John Wilson retired today after 27 years of service to Lee County.
John has served the county with passion and commitment. His emergency management experience and expertise are valued nationally and his leadership during the recovery from Hurricane Charley in 2004 was exemplary. Also, Deputy Director Kim Dickerson has been placed on paid, administrative leave while the internal review of MedStar operations continues. This is being done in the best interest of Kim and the agency. In the interim, Assistant County Manager Holly Schwartz will serve as Acting Public Safety Director. Deputy Chief Ground EMS Operations Manager Scott Tuttle will serve as Acting Deputy Public Safety Director.
NBC-2 Investigator Karla Ray first broke this story.
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