"I am troubled that a small group of people, apparently composed of a portion of the Fairview Board of Directors and representatives of an out-of-state entity, would conduct private discussions without the benefit of the public's input regarding a matter of such sweeping consequences…" Swanson said in the letter.
Krabbenhoft in his remarks characterized the proposal as not some out-of-state takeover but, as a "merger of equals."
"It was never suggested that either party was 'acquiring or controlling' the other. Those terms were never contemplated because they would be rejected on their face as unacceptable to each of these historic, charitable, and successful organizations," he said. "Nonetheless, this misperception has been created to serve an agenda that undermines the good faith and emerging trust that is essential in any contemplated merger of this sort."
Mooty, in prepared remarks said he understood why Sanford "would choose to step back at this time, but the news comes as a disappointment."
"Our initial findings about a Fairview/Sanford partnership were positive and the Fairview Board was committed to fully understanding its potential benefit to our patients and communities," he said. "However, we respect Sanford's decision and our Board's current assessment of a Sanford partnership will stop."
Krabbenhoft said he made the decision to withdraw because he was "concerned that the good reputation of Sanford may be injured by a process that only intended the highest of ideals and integrity for what we believed to be a compelling solution to the challenges facing healthcare delivery today and in the future."