Soldotna hospital officials say gunman was fired for performance reasons

CEO saw no advanced warnings that man intended to inflict harm

Posted: Sunday, December 14, 2008

KENAI - An official at a Soldotna hospital says the former worker who went on a deadly shooting spree was fired the day before for performance problems.

Ryan Smith, CEO of Central Peninsula Hospital, said Joseph Marchetti had been enrolled in a corrective action plan before his Nov. 25 termination.

Marchetti returned to the hospital with a rifle and a handgun the following day and opened fire.

The 48-year-old gunman shot and killed information services director Mike Webb and wounded imaging director Margaret Stroup, both former bosses.

Marchetti was later shot and killed in a standoff with authorities.

Smith said Wednesday he knew of no advanced warnings that Marchetti intended to inflict harm on his co-workers.

"We've engaged different groups to come in and speak with our employees, and to ask questions of them, and I can say, unequivocally here today, that nothing has been brought to our attention at this point in time," he said.

Marchetti was hired last year as the picture archiving communications specialist administrator at the hospital.

Smith said the hospital conducted a criminal background check, drug screening and reference checks during the hiring process.

Marchetti previously worked at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha as an information systems clinical specialist, or database manager, in the cardiac line. Hospital spokeswoman Andrea McMaster said he was employed for seven years, leaving in October 2007 on his own.

Smith said he could not elaborate on the reasons for Marchetti's firing from the Soldotna hospital.

He said that a corrective action plan involves a written agreement between workers and their supervisors, in this case, Stroup, to improve an employee's performance.

"The corrective action statement is basically a 90-day probationary period that has milestones for when you will know whether the employee is meeting those performance expectations," Smith said.

He said Marchetti failed to meet the performance expectations he and Stroup set.

"We feel like we took the appropriate steps to really try to work with and help the individual to improve the performance, but in the end, we terminated his employment for those performance concerns," Smith said.

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