Hospital group fires spokeswomanby Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A spokeswoman for a Twin Cities hospital group has been fired for failing to disclose past legal problems.
Twin Cities Hospitals hired Trish Dougherty of Sioux Falls to be the public voice for the coalition's 13 hospitals during labor negotiations with nurses. Dougherty is a nurse and has often mentioned her experience while explaining the hospitals' bargaining positions.
In a statement, Twin Cities Hospitals said it had just learned of Dougherty's past legal problems, which it said "falls short of the level of integrity the community has a right to expect."
A 2006 news story posted on Facebook by a Minnesota nurse describes Dougherty's conviction for stealing $15,000 from Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. A PR firm working with the Twin Cities hospitals says Dougherty confirmed the theft conviction.
The nurses association says Dougherty's firing has united nurses who thought her comments about them were often inappropriate.