The CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is stepping down after more information surfaced about his DWI arrest in June. The insurer’s board of trustees said Wednesday night it asked for the resignation of Patrick Conway - and he submitted it – effective immediately.
Conway said in a statement announcing his resignation that he is "ashamed, embarrassed and sorry about my actions on June 22nd."
Earlier Wednesday, North Carolina’s insurance commissioner Mike Causey had called on Conway to step down. Causey accused Blue Cross’s board of covering up the arrest while the company was negotiating a merger with Cambia Health. That merger was suspended this week.
"The effort by the board of directors to hide the arrest of their CEO for drunk driving and child neglect is disturbing," Causey said.
In a statement Blue Cross trustees said they didn’t know details of that arrest until earlier this week and that the notes about the arrest “depict behavior that falls short of Blue Cross’s standards.”
Trustees previously said they allowed Conway to continue as CEO because he attended a 30-day substance abuse treatment program.
This week video emerged that appears to show Conway driving erratically for several miles on I-85 in June, before he side-swiped a tractor-trail. Conway was charged with driving while impaired and misdemeanor child abuse. Police say his daughters were in the vehicle.
A police report quotes Conway as telling police that he would call Gov. Roy Cooper and quote “get you in trouble.”
Here's the full statement from Blue Cross Blue Shield Wednesday night:
"Immediately following Dr. Conway’s accident, the BlueCross NC Board of Trustees began reviewing and monitoring the situation, with the help of outside counsel and other experts. As a part of its work, the specially convened committee of the Board reviewed public records and officer affidavits regarding the accident and arrest. However, new details have come to light, particularly notes from the arresting officers and contents from their investigative files of which the board was unaware. Based on this, the Board of Trustees gathered today to reexamine the situation and determine a course of action.
The BlueCross NC Board of Trustees has asked Dr. Conway for his resignation. Dr. Conway accepted the request and has issued his resignation effective immediately."
In his statement, Conway apologized:
"Throughout my life, I have been dedicated to one thing: helping people live longer, happier and better lives through access to affordable healthcare. 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. I have never had an incident like this before and it is not consistent with who I am as a father, husband and community member. Following the incident, I immediately disclosed what happened to the Blue Cross North Carolina Board, stepped down from my daily duties and voluntarily and successfully completed 30 days of inpatient substance use treatment. However, I also understand that I must continue to work hard to earn back the trust I’ve lost based on my actions. I therefore am resigning my position as CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of
North Carolina, and will continue to respect and honor the legal process. In time, I look forward to continuing my work ensuring everyone has access to high quality, affordable healthcare."