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EMS loses interim manager following securities complaint in Denver

By Lindsey Bright

Staff Writer

The Upper San Juan Health Services District has been without an Emergency Medical Services operations manager since Dave Bronson presented his resignation to the board in May of this year.

Without a manager, however, does not mean without a point person.

In June, Clint Fraley was hired as an interim EMS manager, what Pagosa Springs Medical Center CEO Brad Cochennet describes as a “point person” for the EMS. Bronson’s EMS operations manager position has only this month been listed as open.

However, on Aug. 19, Fraley resigned from his position. This came nine days after the Securities Commissioner for the State of Colorado filed a complaint for injunctive and other relief against Fraley.

Cochennet told The SUN in an interview that Fraley had been hired as the interim EMS manager after being recommended by many people who worked with him at Denver Health and who now work in Pagosa. Fraley had worked as the EMS operations manager in the summer of 2006; however, due to family reasons, Fraley resigned from the position and left Pagosa after only nine months.

“He came down and interviewed … He was interested in the position; I was interested in him. He interviewed with all the folks and he was put in place as the EMS point person,” Cochennet said.

Fraley took this position at the end of June of this year.

Then, according to Cochennet, within three to four weeks, he received a call from the Security Commission of Colorado, saying they needed to find Fraley to serve him papers for a civil suit.

After receiving this phone call, Cochennet spoke with Fraley.

“I talked with him (Fraley) about that, and we decided that he would best be served and we would best be served if he left and resolved these issues. Then, he could re-present himself if he was still interested in the (EMS operations manager) position,” Cochennet said.

Fraley’s resignation was accepted Aug. 19, nine days after Colorado Securities Commissioner Fred Joseph filed a preliminary injunction against Fraley. The injunction alleges that Fraley violated the Colorado Securities Act by, “gaining unauthorized access to investors’ mutual fund accounts, illegally converting the investors’ securities into cash, then forging checks to gain access to the funds for his own personal use.”

Cochennet said that a background check was performed on Fraley before hiring, and since nothing had been filed, the background check was clean.

“All this was happening in the background, but nothing was officially filed,” Cochennet said.

After resigning from his EMS position and leaving Pagosa in 2007, Fraley began work in the financial business. According to the complaint filed, Fraley had been fired from Mass Mutual in 2011.

“We have taken the position after being contacted by his (Fraley’s) lawyer to say nothing,” Cochennet said.

When asked by The SUN if this was why Pagosa Springs Medical Center employees were asked to keep quiet on this issue, Cochennet responded, “His attorney contacted me and requested there be nothing said regarding these issues.”

Cochennet added that, to his knowledge, Fraley did not offer any PSMC employee any investment offers.

“We took the position that you are innocent until proven guilty, and we encouraged him to go resolve what he needed to and wished him well,” Cochennet said.

lindsey@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on September 13, 2012.