MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A cease and desist letter was sent to the CEO of the University of Tennessee Medical Center on February 21 demanding negotiations over the management of Blount Memorial Hospital be ended according to documents obtained by WATE.

A spokesperson shared a letter with WATE that demands that UT Medical Center (UTMC) stop negotiations for a management agreement with Blount County officials for Blount Memorial. The letter specifically says that Mayor Ed Mitchell and his advisors began discussions with UTMC for the negotiation of a management agreement without input from the county’s citizens or Blount Memorial. A management agreement would allow UTMC to manage and operate the functions of Blount Memorial Hospital.

Previously, Blount Memorial’s CEO shared that he was shocked to learn of the Mayor’s plan to discuss negotiations with UTMC. Mitchell, on the other hand, said that he had made recommendations with the Blount County Board of Commissioners to replace the hospital’s board of directors, but those efforts had been thwarted by the board and hospital management.

The letter, sent by attorneys representing Blount Memorial, explains that if UTMC enters into a management agreement with the county, it would be an intentional interference with a business relationship and Blount Memorial’s contractual relationship. According to the letter, UTMC would be subjected to paying Blount Memorial monetary damages.

Click here to read the full letter.

According to the letter, there is pending litigation between Blount Memorial and Blount County about the ownership of the Wellness Facility and all properties that are titled in the name of Blount Memorial.