However, investigators said Levy's personal relationship with the employee, who left in November 2009, created the perception among other employees that her employment, her qualifications for the jobs created for her, and her six-figure compensation package were influenced favorably by that relationship.
Levy hired the employee when he joined BIDMC in 2002 and their relationship continued throughout her tenure, despite warnings dating back to 2003 from some board members and executives that the relationship was raising concerns. No action was taken, however, before the employee resigned in November, 2009. Investigators said BIDMC leadership waited too long to act.
"Had (Levy) been called on his failure to act, or had his failure to act been reported to the entire board, this acknowledged 'lapse of judgment' might never have occurred. For senior managers who reported to Levy, demanding a response was likely difficult. For board members, it was their job," Assistant Attorney General Jed M. Nosal concluded in the report.
Nosal said that respect for Levy and his accomplishments may have created a level of deference from the board that colored their better judgment. "Oversight of management is a primary duty and responsibility of a governing body and this unfortunate and preventable situation should serve as a stark reminder to all boards of the importance of diligent and independent management oversight," Nosal said.