Former hospital CEO wins $350,000 in arbitration

WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) - The former CEO of Lake Chelan Community Hospital has won $350,000 in arbitration over a defamation lawsuit.

The Wenatchee World reports an arbitration ruling has ended the legal battle over the hospital's decision to fire David Bernier less than two years after he was hired.

A strongly-worded termination letter said Bernier was fired because of dishonesty and fraud. Bernier claims he was fired because he is gay, and called the board's action a hate crime. He has denied any dishonesty and says he had been harassed by some hospital employees.

The arbitration ruling does not detail how Bernier was defamed. It also says the former CEO owes the hospital some money for moving expenses, a housing allowance and other personal reimbursement.