A suspended prison sentence has been given to former Regional Medical Center CEO Lon Butikofer.
Butikofer pled guilty to First Degree Theft in October. He and former System Fund Development Director Mike Briggs were arrested in June. The State Auditor’s Office discovered they had accumulated over $256,000 in expenses for personal trips they claimed were for hospital business. The investigation spanned eight years from January 2009 to March 2017.
Butikofer resigned as CEO of the Manchester hospital shortly after the concerns surfaced nearly three years ago.
Sentencing was held Tuesday morning in Delaware County District Court. Delaware County Attorney John Bernau:
At Tuesday’s sentencing, the current CEO of Regional Medical Center, Charlie Button, took the stand speaking on behalf of the hospital and RMC Governing Board, asking for the maximum sentence of ten years in prison as a way to help hospital employees and the community move forward – noting Butikofer’s cover-up was far from Regional Medical Center’s priority of patient care.
Butikofer also took the stand. He was emotional as he apologized for his actions and the impact it had on the hospital, the community and his family. He described the last three years as “unbelievably difficult”.
Judge George Stigler noted that Butikofer had lived an exemplary life, but then transgressed in a major way – noting it wasn’t just one or two mistakes over a short period of time, but many wrong choices made over an extended period of time. Judge Stigler said he felt neither deferred judgment nor prison time was the right choice.
Around two dozen of Butikofer’s family members were present in the courtroom, along with several Regional Medical Center administrators. After the sentencing, Butikofer approached Button and each of his former RMC co-workers with a handshake.
He will be back in the courtroom for his restitution hearing on January 21st.