Valley Children’s ponies up 24-hour guards for CEO amid furor over $5.1mil pay

While unclear if criminal threats exist, the hospital – already under fire for alleged excessive compensation for execs – is now paying for security to guard its chief executive.

Valley Children’s Hospital is reportedly paying for 24-hour security at the home of CEO Todd Suntrapak.

A Valley Children’s spokesperson told GV Wire that security has been hired in response to comments made by Fresno City Council members Miguel Arias and Garry Bredefeld, though would not confirm if the executive was the subject of a threat.


The backstory: Arias and Bredefeld held a press conference on March 20 shortly after The Sun first reported the compensation package given out to Suntrapak. 

  • They said the hospital has betrayed the trust of the community for paying Suntrapak a total package of $5.5 million in 2020 and $5.1 million in 2021. Valley Children’s Healthcare Board President Michael Hanson said the 2021 package includes two yearly bonuses at the advice of the hospital’s accounting firm, meaning 2022 tax returns will show a smaller total compensation package for Suntrapak. 

Driving the news: Valley Children’s communications director Zara Arboleda did not specify to GV Wire which comments made by Arias and Bredefeld necessitated the 24-hour security, nor did she say if any threats against Suntrapak have been made. 

  • “Let’s be clear – that is the consequence of two elected officials stirring up fear and outrage simply to promote themselves with absolutely no regard for the impact of their words on individuals, our organization and our community,” Arboleda told GV Wire.
  • Valley Children’s representatives would not confirm if a threat was made against Suntrapak.

Bredefeld’s response: Bredefeld responded to the story on Facebook Monday afternoon, saying Valley Children’s leadership is out of touch with the community.

  • “What I’m talking about is the position taken by Valley Children’s that no one should make public comments about their cronyism and misuse of the hospital’s money. That is outrageous,” Bredefeld wrote.
  • “The right to free speech and the right of the press to cover that speech are among the most fundamental rights we have in this country. But the leaders of Valley Children’s think they are above scrutiny and we should all just keep quiet and let them misuse the hospital’s money in peace.
  • “The continued mismanagement and enrichment of corporate executives at Valley Children’s on the backs of our poor and sick children needs to stop, and I’ll continue to use my voice to help that happen. Our children deserve nothing less.”
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