- Associated Press - Friday, October 13, 2017

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Tulsa’s emergency ambulance service has scheduled a special meeting to discuss the employment of its executive director.

Steve Williamson has led the Emergency Medical Services Authority since 1978, the Tulsa World reported. He recently came under fire after being named in a federal lawsuit that alleges a $20 million kickback scheme involving a Texas contractor.

Legal defense for the lawsuit and another similar lawsuit has cost the authority about $2 million so far.

Williamson also has been criticized for his compensation and billing practices that caused some users to pay twice for ambulance services.

The authority manages ambulance services in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. EMSA serves more than 1 million people annually, according to its website.

The EMSA board of directors is scheduled to meet Tuesday.

The Tulsa City Council denied a request from the authority to raise its rates to help cover its defense for the lawsuit.

Jan Slater, chairwoman of the authority’s board of trustees, told the council that a rate increase was the final option the board and staff had to address legal costs.

“I never thought I’d have to come ask for this,” Slater said. “I want you to know we have looked at every possibility we can.”

But council members said there’s no guarantee that more funding would rescue the agency or the city from eventually having to pay more.

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Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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