California Healthline Daily Edition

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State Pulls More Than $3M in Contracts From Mental Health Network

The California Network of Mental Health Clients -- a Sacramento-based mental health organization run by consumers -- has lost more than $3 million in state contracts over allegations of mismanagement and misappropriation of state funds, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Details of Lost Contracts

Late last year, the California Mental Health Services Authority -- an independent joint powers authority responsible for Proposition 63 mental health funding -- pulled a $1.53 million contract from the network because of "significant organizational changes."

CalMHSA said it acted in response to complaints from the network's board members, who had "serious concerns about (its) ability to function in terms of governance and administration."

In addition, the state Department of Mental Health earlier this year canceled a $1.64 million, three-year contract to the network over issues such as:

  • Failure to complete contracted work;
  • Improper employee raises; and
  • Personal use of state funds.

Network's Response

Carol Underwood -- a board member at the network -- acknowledged that the group has had problems with disorganization.

She said that the board had submitted a reorganization plan to CalMHSA, but the plan was deemed unacceptable.

She added that the board plans to appeal the review and is gathering proof of completed contract work (Branan, Sacramento Bee, 11/11). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.