Dennis Winston defies Attorney General directive

Posted November 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Before the beginning of the Monday, Nov. 18, meeting of the Cedar County Ambulance District (CCAD) Board , Chairman Dennis Winston told the Sun that he will not comply with a directive he received earlier in the day to make the letter he read aloud at the Oct. 21 CCAD meeting “available to him (Kenny Long) in its entirety, as soon as possible. If you are not providing the letter, please let our office and Mr. Long know the reason no later than Nov. 27, 2013.”

Winston gave Long a copy of the letter, which is dated 17 August 2012, but had deleted the signature. Winston said it is his opinion that he could be fined $50,000 for violating a HIPAA rule by providing the signature. He said he could only provide the entire letter if Long sues him and a court or judge orders him to provide it.

The letter to Mr. Winston from Casey Lawrence, Sunshine Law Coordinator in the AG’s office, said, “In response to Mr. Long’s original request he was told the letter could not be made available due to privacy regulations required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). At this time our office does not believe that the Privacy Rule within HIPAA pertains to the letter that was requested.”

When Winston read the letter at the Oct. 21 meeting, he said he was handed the letter “as we sat down here tonight and it is actually dated back in August.”

Winston made no mention that it was August 2012, over a year earlier.

He also did not reveal who had kept the letter a year before revealing it to the board.