Highmark fires CEO Melani, will investigate expenses

It's been a busy two weeks for Highmark in the wake of CEO Kenneth Melani's arrest and alleged affair. And now Pennsylvania's largest insurer has announced that it fired Melani and will investigate all expenditures for any potential abuse.

J. Robert Baum, Highmark's chairman of the board and acting CEO, announced Sunday that the insurer fired Melani, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Melani was placed on unpaid administrative leave last week.

"The board has reviewed this situation thoroughly and has taken decisive action to address the matter," he said, referring to a fight Melani allegedly engaged in with the husband of his mistress, who is a Highmark employee. The board is "moving forward to identify a long-term successor to the CEO position," Baum added.

Highmark also will undertake a "complete investigation" of its expenditures. "We'll be looking at anything that could be a problem," Baum told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "We're moving to make sure there wasn't any abuse." However, he clarified that the investigation isn't linked to Melani's ousting.

Meanwhile, Melani hopes to "bring this matter to an expeditious conclusion in the most businesslike manner," his lawyer said, so the former CEO has agreed to undergo counseling. In exchange, prosecutors will drop the assault and trespassing charges against him, WTAE reported.

To learn more:
- read the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article
- see the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article
- check out the WTAE article

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