Jessica Windy Boy has been terminated as CEO of the Rocky Boy Health Center.
Chippewa Cree Tribal Chair Harlan Baker confirmed Friday morning that Windy Boy was fired Thursday.
“She was terminated from her position,” Baker told the Herald.
Baker would not say why Windy Boy was fired. Tessie Lamere is acting CEO as the proper “policies and procedures” are followed going forward.
Windy Boy had garnered credit for guiding the health center through a litany of challenges that culminated with the 2018 completion of the state-of-the-art facility the center now occupies.
But 2019 threw its share of problems at the health center and its former CEO.
On Feb. 21, a HIPPA breach affecting 6,000 patients was reported, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. The cause of the breach was listed as theft. That investigation remains open and details of the breach have not been available.
Then in June, Windy Boy was suspended about the same time a short-lived former employee filed a lawsuit against her, the health center, and the Chippewa Cree Tribe.
Ronald Walker is suing on claims of retaliation, bullying, intimidation, gender discrimination and harassment by Windy Boy. He wants $140,000 in lost salary, as well as punitive and exemplary damages. He is claiming a punitive award based on “mental suffering, wounded dignity, and injured feelings for egregious misconduct by the establishment.” He is representing himself.
She had since returned to work and the Chippewa Cree Tribe has responded to the lawsuit, citing among other reasons the complaint should be dismissed, that the federal District Court in Great Falls has no jurisdiction in the matter and that Walker did not go through the proper tribal judicial channels with his grievances.
Then on early Thursday, the Herald received multiple reports from sources close to the matter that Windy Boy was terminated.
The Rocky Boy Health Center is a Tribal contract facility, an outpatient medical center that specializes in caring for American Indians. Tribal contract facilities are operated under the Indian Self-Determination Act.
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Write to Paul Dragu at firstname.lastname@example.org