Battle: Days After Morrison’s Exit Are ‘Unfortunate Sideshow’

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Make no mistake about it, says George Battle: Heath Morrison made a choice to leave CMS, plain and simple. “What happened is Dr. Morrison voluntarily resigned, the board voted to accept his resignation and the relationship ended,” says Battle.  Battle is general counsel for CMS. He says he initiated the investigation into allegations of Morrison’s misconduct after multiple people came to him with concerns.

In all, he collected testimony from about a dozen named people, all willing to share their experience with the board. He says he’d had enough of hearing that one board member was telling people Battle initiated the investigation because of a personal vendetta. 

In an open letter Wednesday, Battle wrote in part, “I do know the identity of the board member who has disseminated this lie… Let me be clear, I will not be intimidated or bullied by you or any other person for doing my job.” 
 
Battle says, “I regret it (the letter) in that it allowed kind of the whole ‘plan of distraction’ that’s been going on for the past 10 days. But I don’t regret what I said in it.”
 
The board member in question is Eric Davis. Battle’s puzzled over why Davis, who voted against accepting Morrison’s resignation, continues to publicly express his dissatisfaction with the process, particularly since neither Morrison nor Morrison’s attorney had a problem with it. “If there were any kind of issue with the board’s conduct or the board’s compliance with a contract or law, I feel pretty comfortable and confident saying she (Morrison’s attorney) would have raised it.” 
 
Davis tells WCCB Charlotte, “George is one of the finest hires CMS has made.” But, it “Would have been better if the board had initiated the investigation” and that “Outside counsel should have been brought in.”
 
Battle says any characterization of the board as “dysfunctional” is unfair. He says the board is very reasonable, has a very good sense of proportion and has gotten a bad rap in a difficult situation.