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JPS board votes to eliminate executive bonuses

FORT WORTH -- The Tarrant County Hospital District board voted unanimously today to dole out reduced bonuses to its top 14 executives.

But those bonuses are apparently the last, as the board voted to do away with the incentive system. Instead, the administrative staff will have their base salaries adjusted to mirror the salaries of others in similar healthcare positions in the Metroplex, interim CEO Robert Earley said.

Former Chief Executive David Cecero will not receive any bonus. Cecero, who was replaced in May, negotiated $775,268 in severance paid through July 31, 2009. He was eligible for up to a $165,000 bonus. Some board officials had said they didn't support the bonus, and last week, Cecero requested that he not be included in the executive rewards.

The taxpayer-supported hospital district, which does business as the JPS Health Network, paid about $700,000 in bonuses last year. The board today lowered that amount to $282,508, divided among the 14 executives in varying amounts.

JPS Board Chairman Steve Montgomery said the changes will align the executive compensation system with that of other JPS employees.

"It is the end of the era of JPS acting like a private hospital system," Montgomery said. "We want to level the playing field for every employee of JPS. Every person is valued here regardless of their job."

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