Staffing matrix (copy)

A staffing matrix provided by the Grand Traverse County jail shows contracted hours for Wellpath's medical team.

TRAVERSE CITY — Wellpath Founder Gerard Boyle will face charges amid accusations he bribed a Virginia sheriff to secure contract extensions.

National health care contractor Wellpath — under several names — has provided medical services in Grand Traverse County’s jail since 2011. The company serves more than 300,000 incarcerated patients in 34 states.

The company’s current local contract runs through 2022, according to Sheriff Tom Bensley.

He said the indictment doesn’t give him pause.

“We’re aware of the situation, but I don’t think it has any connection to the treatment our inmates get in the jail through Wellpath,” Bensley said, adding that the department is happy with Wellpath’s services.

Boyle, 64, will face six charges in federal court after an Oct. 24 indictment, including counts of conspiracy to commit honest services mail fraud, conspiracy to obtain property under color of official right, honest services mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

He could face maximum penalties up to 20 years per count if convicted, according to a release from the Eastern District of Virginia branch of the United States Attorney’s Office.

Robert McCabe, a sheriff Boyle is accused of maintaining an “illicit quid pro quo” relationship with, faces 11 similar counts. McCabe, now retired, served as sheriff of the City of Norfolk, Virginia, and oversaw the city’s jail.

Court records accuse the pair of trading money, gift cards and other goods for contract extensions and inside bidding knowledge from 2004 to 2016.

An emailed statement from Wellpath Communications and Public Affairs Vice President Judy Lilley states the charges “are not indicative of our company’s high quality, compassionate care,” and that the allegations are being taken “very seriously.”

She said Boyle has resigned from all positions with the company and he hasn’t served as a company executive “for some time.”

Nationwide, Wellpath has been named in hundreds of lawsuits, according to reports from the Associated Press, CNN and other outlets, under both Wellpath and the company’s previous name, Correct Care Solutions.

Grand Traverse County has seen two inmate suicides under the company’s watch — Alan Halloway in 2017 and Marilyn Palmer in early 2018 — along with more than 50 attempts between 2011 and 2018. Both deaths yielded settlements from county taxpayer-funded coffers.

A federal judge issued Boyle an unsecured $10,000 bond on Oct. 28. He will be arraigned at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 in Norfolk.

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