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American Senior fires No. 2 executive in wake of FBI raid

October 2, 2015

American Senior Communities has fired its No. 2 executive and accepted the resignation of its chief financial officer—17 days after an FBI raid of its offices and the home of its former CEO James Burkhart.

The Indianapolis-based nursing home operator has fired Chief Operating Officer Dan Benson as a result of the federal investigation and American Senior’s own internal investigation, according to a statement issued Friday morning by American Senior.

Also Friday, CFO Roger Werner submitted his immediate resignation, according to the statement.

American Senior Communities, which calls itself ASC, has long-term health care centers throughout Indiana, including more than 30 in central Indiana. It is the largest member of the Indiana Health Care Association and was a significant force last year behind efforts to impose a moratorium on new nursing home construction.

American Senior also operates 61 skilled-nursing facilities in Indiana for the Health & Hospital Corp. of Marion County. Less than half of those nursing homes are in the Indianapolis area.

Benson’s and Werner’s departures come exactly two weeks after American Senior fired Burkhart as a result of the federal investigation.

“ASC is proud of its employees who work hard and embody the company’s commitment to integrity and serving its residents,” the American Senior statement read. “ASC will not allow the actions of a few individuals to compromise its mission of providing quality care. ASC’s owners, Board of Directors and senior leadership are confident that ASC employees will continue the strong tradition of providing excellent care, which has made ASC a valued and respected provider of senior care in Indiana.”

It is still not clear what exactly investigators from the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are investigating. But American Senior said its own investigation confirmed that the federal investigation does not involve patient care.

American Senior’s statement said the company does not anticipate any other leadership departures. It has launched a search to find both interim and permanent replacements for its CEO, COO and CFO “who will promote and maintain the ASC culture of caring for others while demonstrating the highest level of integrity.”

Two members of the Jackson family, which is an owner of American Senior, are acting as the company's leaders while the company searches for replacements. Mark Jackson is the acting CEO, and Blake Jackson is the acting COO. Also, David Justice is serving as acting CFO.
 

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