Must-read story about $3.8 million in severance pay paid out to Cardinal Innovations execs.

Angry lawmakers on Tuesday advocated civil and possibly criminal action against former executives of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions, the state’s largest behavioral health network. The state wants to recoup $3.8 million in severance pay to the ousted managers.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen told the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services that lawyers are reviewing agency emails and other material, deciding how to act against Cardinal.

Cardinal is one of seven geographically located LME/MCOs (Local Management Entities/Managed Care Organizations) providing services to clients with mental health and substance abuse issues, and intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Cohen disbanded the previous Cardinal board of directors and management team on Nov. 27, citing their “unlawful actions, including serious financial mismanagement … regarding executive team compensation and severance payments.” She said Cardinal repeatedly failed to comply with DHHS warning and demand letters.

The full Carolina Journal story by Dan Way can be found here. It includes comments from several legislators.