Council questions actions of councilman

Actions relate to council member’s conduct of his private business

Even though she said it was with a “heavy heart,” Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer brought up some issues concerning one of her own council members during the Cambridge City Council meeting Monday, May 21.

Mayor Palmer brought up concerns regarding two reports issued by the Minnesota Board of Chiropractic Examiners regarding matters relating to Council Member Dave Schornstein’s business, North Metro Chiropractic, located in Cambridge.

The first report dated Aug. 9, 2011 resulted in Schornstein receiving a stayed suspension of his chiropractic license for misusing prescription pain killers. As a result, he was allowed to continue to run and operate his business, but not provide direct patient care.

The second report dated April 12, 2012 revoked Schornstein’s chiropractic license. According to the report, Schornstein continued to provide direct patient care on 13 occasions, and billed an insurance company using a false name and for services that were never provided.

Mayor Palmer also cited a recent article in a Twin Cities newspaper regarding the revocation of Schornstein’s license. She said she has been receiving many phone calls and emails regarding the matter.

“As mayor of the city of Cambridge and a member of the city council, I think we all need to remember how we are perceived enables us to do the daily business of the people,” Mayor Palmer said. “We need to continue to work vigilantly to earn the public’s trust and maintain it. We need this to effectively govern together. We shall always protect the city of Cambridge and always pursue what we call the public good.”

Schornstein said he agreed to the revocation of his chiropractic license because he has been contemplating leaving the field for a couple of years. However, he said he disagreed with the April 2012 report and denied he continued to provide direct patient care or engaged in any type of fraudulent behavior.

“For the purpose of having this all over and done with, I let the accusers have their way and volunteered and proposed to have my license revoked,” Schornstein said. “It was not something I wanted to do but it was something I was prepared to do to put this behind me. When it comes down to it, mistakes were made because of lack of oversight. But there wasn’t any fraud perpetrated or anything done that was illegal. As far as conduct, and their accusations against myself, I’ve had enough dealing with employees trying to position themselves to gain from this.”

After a lengthy discussion, the council approved a motion to have Schornstein meet with Mayor Palmer, City Attorney Jay Squires and City Administrator Lynda Woulfe to discuss the matter further. The outcome of that meeting will then be reported back to the full council.

Mayor Palmer also brought up censuring Schornstein.

Squires explained a censure is a motion by the city council that is directed at another member of the city council to let them know they are disappointed with their actions, either at a council meeting or outside a council meeting.

Council Member Bob Shogren questioned the allegations of insurance fraud.

“One insurance company was billed and paid for services and that is in the process of being reimbursed to the insurance company,” Schornstein explained. “This happened because of my lack of oversight that caused some billing errors, but I’m working with the insurance company to make sure things are corrected.”

Shogren also questioned Schornstein about the issues with chemical dependency and asked if he would participate in drug testing. Schornstein responded, “I would.”

When Council Member Lisa Iverson asked Schornstein if anyone is pursing fraud charges against him, he said “no.”

Council Member Chris Caulk said he agreed with the recommendation to have Schornstein meet with the mayor, city administrator and city attorney, to help regain the trust of the city and the people.

In other action, the council:

• Approved a contract for $14,800 with SEH to provide professional engineering services for the South Cleveland Street Storm Sewer Relocation project. This project consists of relocating the existing 48” diameter storm sewer that runs from Cleveland Street across the Cambridge Metals and Plastics (CMP) property to the industrial park pond. The pipe is proposed to be relocated southerly to 8th Ave. SE where it would enter the south end of the pond.

• Approved the termination of Holly Gerard effective May 17.

• Denied the request of Marlys Ostlund for an interim use permit and conditional use permit for a rooming/boarding house at the 436 6th Ave. SW.

• Approved the renewal of liquor licenses for the Cambridge American Legion, Applebees, Cambridge Bar & Grill, Cambridge Pizza Pub, Sidelines Sports Grill, and the renewal of the 2 a.m. closing time for Cambridge Pizza Pub.

• Approved a request to fill the vacant finance clerk position.

• Approved a request to hire Bonnie Zimmerman at a rate of $25 per hour for up to 12 hours per payroll processing to assist with finance clerk duties.