A judge ruled that Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 can no longer withhold payments from Cypress Creek EMS, according to a Nov. 30 CCEMS news release.
Judge Latosha Payne of Harris County's 55th District Court ordered ESD No. 11 may not withhold funds due to outstanding employee insurance claims and also must not accelerate the 360-day termination period of the two entities’ contact.
ESD No. 11 began to withhold funds in June due to unreleased documents related to a financial audit. The ESD No. 11 board voted in September to withhold 30% of its regular payment to CCEMS due to the insurance claims.
“We have complied with all of the ESD 11 board requests and are working with administrators and advisors within the time frame required by the terms of the health insurance plan and applicable law,” CCEMS Chief Executive Officer Wren Nealy said in the news release. “Neither CCEMS nor ESD 11 can force itself into that process.”
In an emailed statement, Regina Adams, who represents ESD No. 11 from law firm Radcliffe Bobbitt Adams Polley PLLC, said the district is still looking into CCEMS’ alleged misuse of taxpayer funds.
“After hearing complaints from CCEMS employees that their health insurance claims were not being paid by CCEMS, the Board hoped to encourage CCEMS to pay those claims,” Adams said. “CCEMS aggressively resisted HCESD 11’s help and the Board ultimately agreed to let CCEMS administration die on that hill.”
The ESD No. 11 board voted to terminate its contract with CCEMS on Sept. 3 after a long history of disagreements over the two entities’ 16-year relationship.