Robert Spadoni

Rush Oak Park Hospital’s former vice president and chief operating officer was indicted on fraud charges by a federal grand jury in Chicago Feb. 15. Robert Spadoni, 58, was charged with three counts of mail fraud and three counts of money laundering. Each count of mail fraud and money laundering is punishable by up to 20 years and 10 years in federal prison, respectively. An arraignment has not yet been scheduled.

The indictment alleges Spadoni defrauded the hospital out of $622,500 by causing the hospital to enter into a professional services agreement with a company established by Spadoni and in doing so also violated the hospital’s conflict of interest policy. The hospital entered into the agreement around December 2013 with Medical Education Solutions to provide the hospital’s podiatry residency program administrative and compliance support.

That arrangement lasted until approximately July 2021, coinciding with the arrival of Dr. Dino Rumoro, who officially became the hospital’s CEO on July 1 of that year. That winter, it was reported Rumoro and Rush hospital staff had uncovered evidence of financial misappropriation and the hospital launched an internal investigation. The results of that investigation were handed over to the proper authorities, according to Rush Oak Park spokesperson Brad Spencer, who did not mention Spadoni by name. Wednesday Journal has reached out to Rumoro for comment. The federal indictment does not specifically mention Rush Oak Park Hospital or any hospital by name.

“I do want to emphasize that the former executive hasn’t been at RUSH since summer 2021,” Spencer said in an email to Wednesday Journal.

Under the terms of the agreement with MES, the indictment alleges, the hospital consented to pay $6,5000 per month for the administrative and compliance support services that Spadoni knew would not be provided.

He also concealed, and attempted to conceal, his and his wife’s financial interest in MES, providing a direct report at Rush with a $1,500 monthly cash payment in order to perform the administrative support and compliance services that were covered by the MES agreement, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois. The indictment alleges that Spadoni and his wife used the remaining funds paid by the hospital for the personal benefit of themselves and others.

Oak Parkers living near the hospital may remember Spadoni for his involvement in the hospital’s plans to build a parking garage on Wenonah Avenue, which is now indefinitely on hold. Spadoni served as the hospital’s representative during the project’s hearings before the Oak Park Plan Commission, the first of which took place in November 2019. At the time, the hospital was criticized for not meeting with neighbors ahead of the hearing. Neighbors were resoundingly against the garage.

The hospital put the plan on hold, then brought a revised plan to the commission the following year for a series of hearings. The garage finally received the commission’s approval on March 5, 2020, but Spadoni still got notably testy over claims that the garage was too tall. The garage was planned to be 64 feet tall, which is below the maximum height of 80 feet allowed by zoning code.

“Just so we’re clear, this is zoned H and in H, we can build what we’re due, but we’re trying to be a good neighbor in that regard,” Spadoni told the commission.

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