Former West Virginia hospital CEO-turned-mayor pleads guilty to stealing hospital funds

June 03, 2024
by Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief
Charles Hatfield, former CEO of Williamson Memorial Hospital and recent mayor of Williamson, West Virginia, pleaded guilty to stealing almost $35,000 in federal hospital funds for personal use.

Court documents reveal that Hatfield became the interim CEO of the rural, 76-bed hospital in September 2018 and was later made permanent CEO until his dismissal in September 2019. During his tenure, Hatfield oversaw the hospital's finances and directed payments.

On May 16, 2019, Hatfield used $9,197.62 of hospital funds to purchase a cashier’s check payable to an individual at Venice Sands Apartments-Argus Management of Venice, Florida. He used the check to settle a personal lawsuit regarding delinquent real estate taxes and homeowners' fees for a condominium he owned.

A few months later, on September 25, 2019, Hatfield transferred $25,675 in hospital funds to Mid Mountain Properties, his real estate company. This transfer occurred shortly before his dismissal and the hospital's bankruptcy filing on October 21, 2019. Hatfield acknowledged the hospital's inability to fund employee benefits, including retirement and healthcare plans, when he directed the transfer.

He admitted to telling business partners that the funds were used for personal obligations, and confirmed that he did not seek or receive authorization from the hospital’s board or any other entity for these payments.

Hatfield resigned from his position as mayor of Williamson, West Virginia, earlier this month. According to court records, Hatfield was placed on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

Hatfield's sentencing is scheduled for September 12, 2024. He faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine, in addition to owing the full $34,872.62 in restitution.