BCBS CEO Resigns After Details About His DUI Arrest Leaked to the Press

Victor Westerkamp
By Victor Westerkamp
September 27, 2019USshare
BCBS CEO Resigns After Details About His DUI Arrest Leaked to the Press
Lights of a police car in a file photo. (Tevenet/Pixabay)

Patrick Conway, CEO of North Carolina health insurance giant Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) resigned on Wednesday after details of his behavior during his DUI arrest leaked to the press.

“Throughout my life, I have been dedicated to one thing: helping people live longer, happier and better lives through access to affordable healthcare,” the CEO, Patrick Conway, said in announcing his resignation, KOAM News reported. “Today, I am ashamed, embarrassed, and sorry about my actions on June 22nd. I am especially sorry for the pain I have caused my family, friends, and colleagues.”

Conway, 45, was driving across I-85 with his two girls in Randolph County on June 22, when he swerved and sideswiped a semi-trailer before being pulled over by police officers, WRAL reported.

Conway was arrested after failing two field sobriety tests. Following his arrest, he reportedly refused to take a blood test and became so belligerent that the police handcuffed him.

He behaved disrespectful toward law enforcement officers, kicked the cell door repeatedly, and had to be shackled. After he was transported to Randolph County jail in Asheboro he threatened to call the Governor if they did not release him.

The charges he now faces are two counts of misdemeanor child abuse, reckless driving, driving while impaired, failure to maintain lane control, and civil revocation of a driver’s license.

After his arrest, he opened up toward the board of governors and confessed his arrest. He also reportedly voluntarily entered a 30-day rehab program.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina said a board committee investigated the incident and “determined Conway is a good leader who should stay on the job,” WRAL reported.

It’s not sure whether Conway offered to step down at that instant, but the board asked him to stay on. They reported the incident to the State Department of Insurance but gave no details.

State Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, however, labeled it a cover-up and  issued a statement with a press conference outside of the Gaston Gazette in Gastonia, N.C.

“The efforts by the board of directors to hide the arrest of their CEO for drunk driving and child neglect is very disturbing. When news accounts surfaced of the June 22 incident last week, the board misrepresented to the Department of Insurance the actual arrest — telling me that the incident was without incident and was a routine arrest.

“On Tuesday, Sept. 24, news reports showed the arrest was anything but routine and Dr. Conway showed a complete lack of professionalism, respect and composure for the law enforcement officer and the legal process.

“I can deal with the criminal charges [against Conway], as bad as they are, but I cannot accept the coverup, the misrepresentation of facts, the lack of respect for oversight and regulation of a company and the lack of respect for law enforcement officers who are doing their duty.”

Causey added, “I cannot move forward with any type of trust or confidence in this CEO.”

On September 26, Conway blamed the press for his forced resignation, wrote on Twitter: “Unfortunately, I have been “tried and convicted” in the media. Including much information that I had never seen before Tuesday (2 days ago). Some true, some not true, and some misinformation. I was trying to follow the standard legal process related to the charges.”

Meanwhile, BCBS have assigned Chief Operating Officer Gerald Petkau as interim CEO and entrusted him with the challenging task of refurbishing the company’s credibility.

Conway is set to appear in court on October 8, according to online records in Randolph County.

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