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Former Bethania Group CEO fired, will repay salary

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The board of directors of two city faith-based personal care homes has fired its chief executive officer after an independent review into complaints of nepotism, staff intimidation and financial mismanagement.

The Bethania Group has parted ways with Ray Koop. He has agreed to repay Bethania $73,526 for salary and benefits the review determined he received in contravention of a government freeze on executive pay. He has already repaid $30,000 of it.

Koop had been placed on administrative leave in May pending the investigation. He was let go in the past 24 hours, Health Minister Theresa Oswald said.

Les Janzen, chief executive officer of Concordia Hospital, will head Bethania Group’s care homes on an interim basis until a permanent replacement can be found for Koop.

The independent review was carried out by Dave Dyck, former board chair of the Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba. Dyck made several recommendations relating to the organization’s governance and finances as well as to the improvement of management/staff relations.

The allegations arose after an earlier audit of Bethania revealed Koop had been allowed to retire, collect a pre-retirement payout and was then rehired the next day at a higher rate of pay, an action that had just been prohibited under new legislation passed by the Manitoba government.

The Bethania board originally defended its actions, but it later agreed to cancel the contract with Koop.

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