A number of decorahnews.com readers have e-mailed with the same questions: Does Winneshiek Medical Center Board President have family members working at the hospital? And isn't that a conflict of interest?
Let's tackle the first question first. Wyatt's two sons, Todd and Tony, work in the building maintenance department at the hospital. One daughter-in-law, Sarah Wyatt, works in the scheduling department. Another daughter-in-law, Rhonda Wyatt, works in the behavioral medicine department. Wyatt's two sons were hired after Wyatt began serving as board president. Wyatt's two daughters-in-law were originally Mayo Clinic employees at the Decorah Clinic who became WMC employees after the hospital bought the clinic. (Updated information)
But let's tackle the second question now. It's our opinion there is no conflict of interest here. That's because the legislation about conflict of interest defines it as a situation in which someone uses their position to promote their own personal financial gain. That's not the case here.
You could argue that Wyatt used his position to get the jobs for his relatives, but there is absolutely no evidence that this was the case. Instead, it seems to be a case of knowing that there were openings at the hospital and encouraging family members to apply for the jobs.
Yes, there are four of Wyatt's relatives on the payroll at Winneshiek Medical Center, but that fact by itself does not prove there is any conflict of interest.