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Third-party investigation into ex-Sparrow CEO complete

Posted at 7:07 AM, Apr 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-05 09:49:43-04

LANSING, Mich. — A Virginia health system says an independent third-party has completed their internal investigation regarding sexual harassment allegations against former Sparrow Health Chief Executive Officer Emory Tibbs, Jr.

Tibbs was CEO of Centra Health -- a regional health system based in Lynchburg, Virginia before coming to Michigan to lead Sparrow Health.

An investigation into Centra Health was prompted by a

lawsuit filed against Tibbs and Centra on March 11. In the lawsuit, Stephanie Hale, a former employee of Centra Health, accuses Tibbs of soliticing sex from her for money and then assaulting her.

The allegations date back to 2017, when Hale claims Tibbs sexually assaulted her in a hotel room in Lynchburg.

Hale's boyfriend became enraged after Tibbs allegedly sent Hale sexually suggestive e-mails under a fake name. Hale's boyfriend sent text messages back and set up a meeting at a Lynchburg hotel room where Tibbs would pay Hale for sex.

Hale claimed she wanted to get video of Tibbs and blackmail him with it.

On Thursday, a Centra spokesperson announced investigators had found "no evidence anyone at Centra was aware of any interactions between Tibbs and Hale" before that video was made public.

You can read the full statement from Centra below:

The independent third party hired by Centra has completed its internal investigation regarding allegations made against former CEO, E.W. Tibbs.

The investigation concluded that: Prior to the March 2019 release of the video, there was no evidence anyone at Centra was aware of any interactions between Mr. Tibbs and Stephanie Hale. There was no evidence suggesting Mr. Tibbs engaged in inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature towards any current or former Centra employee while he was employed by Centra as CEO. There was no evidence Mr. Tibbs inappropriately accessed employee contact information in violation of company policy or for unauthorized use.

Centra has not identified the “independent third party” it hired to conduct the investigation.

After leaving Centra, Tibbs became Sparrow's CEO in January.

But Sparrow's board put him on paid administrative leave on March 13, after learning of the allegations. Sparrow Health System announced Tibbs was no longer an employee there on March 21.

At that time, Sparrow said it would meet at some point to decide the next step in the search for Tibbs' replacement.

The lawsuit filed by Hale against Tibbs and Centra is still pending.

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