Head of OEMS retires amid investigation into allegations of 'financial irregularities'

Office of Emergency Medical Services Director Gary Brown
Posted at 4:56 PM, Oct 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-13 17:01:41-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The head of the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Emergency Medical Services announced Friday he is retiring from the position, according to a spokeswoman for VDH.

Gary Brown has been the Director of the OEMS for the last 27 years, and, according to a personnel announcement that was sent to VDH staff, served OEMS for over 43 years.

“During my career, I have been fortunate to have worked with the most dedicated Emergency Medical Services providers, board members, professionals, and organizations.  I am very proud to have been a part of the Office,” Brown said in the announcement that was sent to CBS 6 by the VDH.

Office of Emergency Medical Services Director Gary Brown
Office of Emergency Medical Services Director Gary Brown

Brown’s departure comes after VDH discovered “possible financial irregularities” during the course of an internal audit into the finances of its Office of Emergency Medical Services.

VDH spokeswoman Maria Reppas said VDH then reported those possible irregularities to the Office of the State Inspector General and the Virginia State Police “in accordance with standard procedure.”

CBS 6 has reported for over a month that VDH was conducting an internal investigation after OEMS experienced a budget shortfall in the last fiscal year.

That shortfall forced the office to cancel its annual symposium where many of Virginia’s EMS workers participate in important training that helps them fulfill continuing education requirements.

Last Friday, state police confirmed they are investigating allegations of financial irregularities involving OEMS.

VSP also said the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District is involved in the investigation.

CBS 6 has asked VDH how much of a budget shortfall OEMS is facing, but a spokesperson said VDH cannot comment further.

"Cam Crittenden will serve as Acting Director of the Office of Emergency Medical Services until a permanent Director is named. Cam is a long-time leader in this Office and the Virginia EMS system and will be able to ensure continuity of operations,” Brown said in his retirement announcement.

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