In a move that was widely expected, seven members of the Rogue Valley Manor board of directors were dismissed Friday night.
Pacific Retirement Services had been expected to take this action against these board members ever since they filed a restraining order to separate the board from PRS.
Brian McLemore, chief executive officer of PRS, said in an email sent Friday that the PRS, which he called the sole director of the Rogue Valley Manor, "removed seven members of the Manor Board."
He wrote that two members of the board, the chair and vice chair, will remain on the board.
He also said one new member was appointed Friday night but did not name this new member. He noted that additional appointments to the Manor board are expected soon.
McLemore said that in addition to the board members, the Manor's legal counsel, Lindsey Hart, also was dismissed.
A new legal counsel also was appointed. Although not named in McLemore's email, the new counsel was ordered to dismiss legal actions againt PRS.
These developments followed the Manor board's attempts to file an order that would halt PRS's move to dismiss the dissenting members of the board.
The Manor Board also sought to stop the firing of its executive director, Kevin McLoughlin.
McLoughlin was placed on paid leave on Aug. 10 before the dispute became public. Manor residents and members of the board said PRS officials believe McLoughlin had provided the Manor board with confidential information on PRS discussions or plans. They also said that was not the case.
The seven former members of the board contacted Friday night declined to comment on their removal on advice from legal counsel.
Thomas McDermott, a Portland attorney representing the Manor board, previously said he expected PRS to fire the seven board members who authorized the suit.
The Manor board's goal was to separate the from PRS because they claimed residents were charged steep fees by PRS and would rather have more control over the facility's operations.
McDermott previously said that the $3,500 per unit management fee charged by PRS is about $2,000 more than is typically charged for such services. He said Thursday those fees bring in at least $1 million more than cost each year so they PRS could invest in other projects.
Manor board members claim that PRS was established as a non-profit and would operate "at cost" — in other words, with no profit attached.
However, Medford Circuit Court Judge Philip Arnold recently ruled against the Manor board's request, saying the Manor's own bylaws establish PRS as having full authority to remove Manor board members and that there was no basis for the court to step in to protect McLoughlin's job.
Arnold cited the Manor's own articles of incorporation and bylaws in denying the request for the temporary restraining order, noting that the wording specifically gives PRS the authority to remove any member of the board.
Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.