911 Showdown at Cypress Creek
After providing emergency ambulance service to Northwest Harris County for 45 years, Cypress Creek EMS faces a possible disastrous end to their contract Thursday morning.
Emergency Services District No.11 commissioners have already announced plans to seek new ambulance proposals in June after growing evidence CCEMS has scammed taxpayers for years, with accusations of exaggerated response times and selling and profiting from medical supplies taxpayers bought.
A Dolcefino Consulting investigation may seal the fate of top officials of CCEMS.
ESD 11 commissioners have been demanding answers for months about a scandal in the ambulance maintenance shop. Back in February 2019, Channel 2 Investigates had uncovered a cash-only car repair shop operating with CCEMS employees and auto parts bought with CCEMS funds. Channel 2 even had records proving auto parts were bought with ambulance funds.
At a meeting in February, CCEMS boss Brad England told commissioners a forensic audit of the shop had been delivered to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office investigators earlier that day. We can now prove that’s a lie, and both England and his number two, Wren Nealy, will have a lot of explaining to do Thursday.
Sergeant Joshua Nowitz, the head of the Sheriff’s Office Financial Crimes Unit, told Dolcefino Consulting CCEMS officials refused to cooperate with the investigation and never provided any documents requested after the initial report more than a year ago.
“Additional documentation was requested in the case. It was never received. It was requested several times,” Nowitz told Dolcefino Consulting. “We never received the documentation and as such our case was closed.”
In February of 2019 as the latest CCEMS scandal broke, their lawyer Andrew McKinney said this to commissioners:
“I can assure the board that each and every Cypress Creek employee from the very bottom up to the board president will cooperate fully with law enforcement. Anyone who does not will be subject to immediate termination or other removal from their position,” says Andrew McKinney.
“England and Nealy should be the first to go, but that’s not enough,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “CCEMS has become a monster that is systematically cheating the taxpayers they were hired to protect.”
A recent ESD 11 audit claimed the medical billing company Koronis had a horrid collection rate on ambulance bills, far below industry standards. The company is run by the wife of CCEMS Executive Wren Nealy.
Cypress Creek gets to keep all the medical billing money they take in and spend it as they want. Taxpayers of ESD 11 then add another $15 million.
ESD commissioners are now asking questions about the number of ambulances on the street. Cypress Creek runs a service of 15 full-time ambulances and dispatch center for about $26 million. The City of Atlanta ambulance service is about $30 million, but they have more than 40 full-time ambulances.
“We have been warning you folks for years that you’re getting fleeced by CCEMS because they have a government contract that quite frankly only a fool would have agreed to,” Dolcefino says.
CCEMS spent more than $500,000 in ambulance funds suing Dolcefino Consulting to hide payroll records and cover up problems with medical billing.
“We have fought CCEMS over this secrecy because we know they are cheating taxpayers, plain and simple,” Dolcefino says. “It is hopeful that the ESD 11 commissioners have finally realized they have been the victims of a huge cover up by a once great charity that has been poisoned.”
Sergeant Nowitz, the ESD, and Cypress Creek have all confirmed the Harris County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit is now investigating the maintenance mess. Cypress Creek claims it has now provided the financial records to the DA, but only after the ESD posted the invitation for a new ambulance service. Cypress Creek has threatened to file a lawsuit if their 911 contract is taken away.
The stage is set for the Thursday meeting 9:00 a.m. at the headquarters of Cypress Creek at 7111 Five Forks, Spring, Texas 77379
The latest chapter in the Dolcefino Consulting investigation is available on the Dolcefino Consulting Facebook page and on our website.