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ELLWOOD CITY (KDKA) — The Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office has opened an investigation into the finances at the Ellwood City Medical Center.

The hospital’s new owner has been dealing with payroll and money problems for weeks.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

For weeks now, employees have been paid late or have not received checks for the correct amount.

Investigators say search warrants reveal the hospital’s owner, Americore, and its CEO have access to $6.5 million in cash, yet paychecks are still bouncing.

Most recently, on Jan. 11, employees went again without paychecks.

The hospital didn’t pay its December electric bill, so a member of the hospital’s Board of Control said Ellwood City would ignore penalty or interest charges on the bill for the next three months. The only stipulation, the borough’s mayor says the money saved has to go to help some of the hospital employees. It totals about $20,000.

With no end to the hospital problems in sight, the U.S. Department of Labor has been asked by Congressman Mike Kelly for an investigation and to try to help resolve the issues.

According to the Ellwood City Ledger, the DA’s office opened their investigation on Jan. 7 after being approached by Rep. Aaron Bernstine.