Prolix in the eyes of some deputies, fleeing his responsibilities for others: the former deputy general manager of the Orpea group Jean-Claude Brdenk defended Tuesday evening the management of the multinational nursing homes before the Social Affairs Committee of the National Assembly .
Depicted in the investigative book "Les Fossoyeurs" by journalist Victor Castanet as the "zealous executor" of an "Orpea system", the person in charge of the operation and development of the group of for-profit medicalized retirement homes between 1997 and 2020 responded to what it considers to be "untruths".
[LIVE] Abuse in nursing homes: questioned by the book "Les Fossoyeurs", Jean-Claude Brdenk, former deputy director general of the #Orpea group, is heard by the deputies for social affairs.
— LCP (@LCP) February 15, 2022
Members of the Social Affairs Committee questioned him about the falsification of contracts or the mistreatment of residents mentioned in the book.
Allegations refuted en bloc.
"We were the first to set up a program to prevent mistreatment," said Jean-Claude Brdenk, mentioning the positive results of checks carried out by the health authorities.
“I have put in place all the necessary means”
Heard earlier in the day by the same commission, Élodie Marchat, deputy director general of the solidarity center of the Hauts-de-Seine departmental council, indicated that the accounting data available to her community did not make it possible to identify an anomaly.
At the Ehpad “Bords de Seine” in Neuilly-sur-Seine, particularly targeted by the accusations of Victor Castanet, the amount of expenses was “in line with the occupancy rate”, she argued.
Read alsoOrpea case: how the scandal shakes the Ehpad model
Jean-Claude Brdenk put into perspective the number of forced departures of facility managers who disagree with Orpea's cost reduction policy.
“I think I have been honest, fair and equitable.
I have put in place all the necessary means” for the proper functioning of the establishments, he said, while acknowledging lip service that he may have been “clumsy”.
The man who left the management of Orpea in December 2020 for the medical group Bastide justified his severance pay of 2.5 million euros gross by presenting them as complying with the practices in force in listed companies.
Deputies call for a commission of inquiry in the National Assembly
"I had the impression on many occasions that you were drowning the fish", struck him the number 2 of LFI, Adrien Quatennens.
"Many points remained unresolved", regretted for her part the president of the commission, Fadila Khattabi (LREM), after three hours of hearing.
"Residents abandoned in their excrement", "chronic lack of staff", "financial scandal", "corruption"... "What accusations do you recognize?" Asks @AQuatennens.
> "You speak of facts as if they were proven", denies Jean-Claude Brdenk.
— LCP (@LCP) February 15, 2022
In a column published by lemonde.fr, some 70 deputies mainly from the left, the numbers one of the CFDT Laurent Berger, the CGT Philippe Martinez and FO Yves Veyrier, as well as representatives of the collectives of families and staff, have again and “solemnly” demanded the creation of a commission of inquiry in the National Assembly.
“Only a parliamentary commission of inquiry would allow the leaders of the Orpea group to be heard immediately and under oath (…) and to be provided with any document it deems useful.
Such guarantees would prohibit vague and imprecise answers”, underline the signatories, including the presidential candidates Jean-Luc Mélenchon (LFI) and Fabien Roussel (PCF).