MIAMI (CBS4) – Eneida Roldan, the president and CEO of Jackson Memorial Hospital, appears to have misled county commissioners about her role in a sweetheart contract for the head of one of Jackson’s foundation, according to documents obtained by CBS4 News.

On Sunday, the CBS4 I Team revealed that Rolando Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer for Foundation Health Services (FHS), was slated to receive a $52,500 golden parachute if Jackson decided to terminate its relationship to FHS.

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Foundation Health Services was already under fire for wasteful spending, including a $6,295, five day Caribbean cruise for Rodriguez and his staff — which Rodriguez had tried to bill as a “strategic retreat.”

On Tuesday, when county commissioners met to discuss the problems surrounding FHS, Eneida Roldan was specifically asked by County Commissioner Carlos Gimenez if she knew how the $52,500 severance agreement was added to Rodriguez’s contract

Roldan demurred and gave commissioners the impression she knew nothing about the contract or the severance deal.

“I sit on both boards,” she said, referring to Foundation Health Services and Jackson Memorial Foundation, “but I’m not part of the executive committee.”

“Does it have to go before the board or just the executive committee?” Gimenez asked.

“I believe it’s through executive committee,” Roldan replied.

Gimenez responded by saying, “I’m surprised actually Dr. Roldan that as a member of the Foundation Health Services board that these things don’t come to the full board and they are not brought to light.”

But in fact, Rodriguez’s contract did go before the full board, according to minutes of the September 30, 2010 board meeting obtained by CBS4 News. Those minutes also reveal that Roldan was present and that “the members were in accord with all the terms of the new contract.”

The minutes state that board members wanted additional time “to review thoroughly [the terms of the deal] prior to approving” but the minutes also laid out the most controversial section of the contract, Rodriguez’s “12-month compensation lump sum payment.” The $52,500 payment would be made in the event that Jackson terminates its relationship with FHS.

When CBS4 News confronted Roldan with a copy of the September 30 minutes, Roldan admitted she was at the foundation board meeting and was present when Rodriguez’s contract was discussed.

But she disputed certain aspects of the meeting minutes, saying they were “draft minutes” and had not yet been approved by the board. “This is just a draft,” Roldan said Friday pointing to a copy of the minutes provided to her by CBS4. “It means it has not been approved.”

Nevertheless, Roldan said she does recall the conversation over Rodriguez’s contract. “My recollection is that we delegated authority to Mr. Diamond to negotiate the contract,” Roldan said. “Mr. Diamond was going to go and discuss this with Mr. Rodriguez.”

Alan Diamond is chairman of the Foundation Health Services.

Friday evening Gimenez said he was stunned by the revelation that Roldan was at the foundation board meeting and participated in the discussion over Rodriguez’s contract.

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“I asked specific questions and she led me to believe she had no idea how this came about,” Gimenez said. “I don’t know if she lied to me but she clearly withheld from me information. She did know what was going on. She was aware of what was happening.”

Roldan told CBS4 News it was not her intention to mislead Gimenez and the other commissioners. “My recollection is I did not vote for the contract,” she said. “I voted for Mr. Diamond to have the authority to negotiate the contract.”

As to the 12-month, lump sum payment of $52,500 to Rodriguez, Roldan disputes the draft minutes which claim she and the other board members tentatively supported granting Rodriguez that severance package. Roldan said she has “no recollection” of the lump sum payment being discussed.

“I don’t remember that,” she said. “No, I don’t.”

Roldan said she was “irate” over the unauthorized release of the minutes of the September 30 meeting and has demanded that the Foundation Health Service board hold an immediate meeting to find out who leaked the minutes.

Asked why she didn’t tell commissioners she had voted to give Diamond the authority to negotiate Rodriguez’s contract, Roldan said the conversation with commissioners ended up going in a different direction and she didn’t have a chance to tell them.

But a review of the county commission meeting shows the topic came up time and time again.

“Who approved that?” Gimenez repeatedly asked.

The County Attorney’s Office said they didn’t know who approved the $52,500 severance agreement with Rodriguez. At another point, Gimenez turned to the county’s Inspector General, Chris Mazella.

“Mr. Mazella,” Gimenez began, “do you have the answer to my question?”

“Nope,” Mazella said. “It’s a mystery.”

As Mazella spoke, Roldan was standing next to him and said nothing.

“I guess it wasn’t a mystery at all,” Gimenez said Friday night. “Dr. Roldan knew exactly what was going on.”

The impact of this revelation is still to be determined. Commissioners have had an uneasy relationship with Roldan for some time and several commissioners have been openly hostile to her, believing she should not remain as the hospital’s CEO.

If commissioners believe Roldan deliberately misled them, they could use that as grounds to remove her. Gimenez made it clear his patience with Roldan may be nearing an end.

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“I don’t have any confidence anymore that if I bring Roldan up to the podium I will get a straight answer,” he said. “If I can’t trust her, then that’s a real problem.”

Jim DeFede