Longtime Hacienda HealthCare CEO was allowed to keep his job despite years of reported sexual harassment and bullying complaints

A cognitively impaired patient at the Hacienda Skilled Nursing Facility in Phoenix gave birth late last month, sparking a sexual assault investigation.

caption
A cognitively impaired patient at the Hacienda Skilled Nursing Facility in Phoenix gave birth late last month, sparking a sexual assault investigation.
source
ABC 15

  • The Arizona Republic published a report on Thursday detailing years of complaints against former Hacienda HealthCare CEO Bill Timmons.
  • Timmons resigned earlier this month after a cognitively impaired patient at one of the nonprofit’s facilities was raped.
  • The report includes an allegation from one former employee who says Timmons approached her at a fundraiser, told her she had a “sexy mouth” and asked her how often she masturbated.
  • The board reportedly hired a law firm to investigate the complaint, but allowed Timmons to keep his job.

A shocking report is shedding new light on the man who led Hacienda HealthCare for more than two decades.

The nonprofit has come under increased scrutiny in the last month after a cognitively impaired patient gave birth to a baby boy. A nurse at the facility, Nathan Sutherland, has since been charged with sexually assaulting the woman. He is pleading not guilty.

About a week after the patient gave birth, the company’s president and longtime CEO, Bill Timmons, resigned.

Former employees have since spoken out to the Arizona Republic accusing Timmons of sexual harassment. They also say he was verbally abusive and fostered a toxic company culture.

Read more: An Arizona nursing home CEO resigned after a cognitively impaired patient gave birth at the facility

Bill Timmons, former CEO of Hacienda HealthCare, is pictured above.

caption
Bill Timmons, former CEO of Hacienda HealthCare, is pictured above.
source
Hacienda HealthCare

One of the employees who spoke to the Republic is Louise Jay. Jay managed a thrift store for the company’s foundation and said she complained about Timmons making sexually inappropriate comments to her in 2006.

She told the Republic this happened during the very first time they met at a fundraiser. Jay said she introduced herself but Timmons pretended not to hear what she said, leaned in close to her and allegedly said, “What was that? Cunnilingus? Fellatio?”

According to the Republic, Jay said she was at first flustered, but collected herself and told Timmons, “You can’t speak to me that way.” She said he responded by saying “Why not?”

Jay told the paper her date overheard everything and tried to intervene, but Timmons wouldn’t back down. Instead, Jay said, he leaned in again until he was almost touching her lips when he said, “You have a sexy mouth. What do you do with that mouth?”

At this point, Jay said she started to back away, and Timmons pursued, eventually backing her up into a bunch of chairs. She said he then asked her about her sexual urges and how often she masturbated, according to the Republic.

Jay told the paper she was able to maneuver herself around him, went and complained to her supervisor about what had happened, and then left the event.

After the incident, Jay said the board of directors hired a law firm to look into her complaint, according to the Republic. While she felt that the lawyer who interviewed her took her allegation seriously, she said the investigation essentially went nowhere. At the end, she said she was called into a meeting with the board, and Timmons apologized to her. But he was able to keep his job reportedly after agreeing to attend sexual harassment training.

A person (left) spoke out earlier this month, claiming to be a former longterm caregiver of the woman at Hacienda who gave birth. She said the patient could not possibly have given consent to sexual intercourse.

caption
A person (left) spoke out earlier this month, claiming to be a former longterm caregiver of the woman at Hacienda who gave birth. She said the patient could not possibly have given consent to sexual intercourse.
source
ABC 15

Soon after Jay made her complaint, two other former employees reportedly accused Timmons of similar behavior. Two former employees told the Republic that one woman said Timmons grabbed her butt, while the other said he made sexually suggestive remarks to her and harassed her about dating him.

Read more: At the Arizona nursing home where a cognitively-impaired woman gave birth, an employee was fired in 2013 for making ‘inappropriate, sexual’ comments to patients

Employees accuse Timmons of fostering a toxic company culture

Rhonda Pigati, Hacienda’s former human-resources manager, told the paper that employees regularly complained about Timmons’ aggressive and bizarre behavior.

“He absolutely did yell at people,” Pigati said. “He pounded his fist on the table. His face would get beet-red.”

Four former employees who spoke with the Republic described him as a bully and a tyrant.

One former employee and former director described a time when Timmons got so angry during a meeting that he jumped up on the conference table and started pacing while yelling.

Hacienda HealthCare cares for children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities.

caption
Hacienda HealthCare cares for children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities.
source
CBS 3 News

On another occasion, employees alleged, his shirt got dirty with fresh paint, so he took it off, threw it at a housekeeping staff member and then continued to lead the meeting bare-chested.

Pigati told the Republic she was horrified to learn of the rape but wasn’t surprised because she said Timmons fostered an environment where employees were afraid of making complaints.

“It made me sick, but sadly, I wasn’t surprised,” she said. “I wasn’t surprised because of the culture he created.”

Board President Tom Pomeroy issued a statement to the Republic, confirming the complaints against Timmons and saying it was a hard decision to make at the time, deciding what the right punishment was.

“In the wake of Timmons’ resignation, people have raised the question of whether he should have been fired years ago. While in hindsight it may appear to be an easy call, it was not that simple in the moment,” Pomeroy said.

“While Timmons attracted controversy and detractors, his years-long advocacy for Hacienda’s clients and their families helped fuel the growth of the company and increase its ability to change lives for the better.”

Timmons didn’t respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.

Read the full story from the Arizona Republic »