Sunday, September 11, 2016
Government waste and corruption and non profits. Liberals reward their criminals. Crony social work.
The former chief executive who departed the San Diego area amid a county investigation of misspending under the nonprofit’s government contracts has been hired by a Marin nonprofit.
Kimberly Bond, who was removed from her position at the San Diego charity Mental Health Systems in June, is now executive vice president at Center Point Inc., a San Rafael-based tax-exempt organization that has taken on some government work previously done by MHS.
San Diego County investigated MHS earlier this year, confirming a whistleblower’s reports that the charity was billing taxpayers for expenses it had not incurred while performing its social service work. The county and the nonprofit agreed on corrective action.
MHS has had similar contracts with counties up and down the state, and with the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. State officials ordered improvements in the way MHS managed programs last September. Under Bond’s leadership, MHS withdrew from the three contracts shortly after the corrections were requested.
In her withdrawal letter, Bond recommended the work be picked up by Center Point, and state prisons officials awarded one of the contracts to Center Point, effective Jan. 1, a jobs and treatment referral program for offenders worth $7 million a year.
Center Point provides services and referrals for mentally ill and homeless clients as well as former offenders with substance abuse and other issues. Its most recent tax filing reported $18 million in revenue.
The charity did not respond to calls or emails this week, nor did Bond.
Officials with Center Point did not respond to requests for comment Sunday by the Marin Independent Journal.
Bond’s online profile on LinkedIn lists her as executive vice president of Center Point. The website for Center Point does not list Bond as part of the management team.
The corrections department confirmed that one of the contracts was awarded to Center Point but declined to comment on the personnel involved. The other two programs are now being managed by another provider.
“The MHS contract(s) ended Dec. 31, 2015, and was resumed or granted to Center Point on Jan. 1, 2016,” state prisons spokesman Bill Sessa said.
According to records obtained by U-T Watchdog, the Department of Corrections identified 43 deficiencies during a July 2015 site visit at one Mental Health Systems program.
Seven of those were ordered fixed within 48 hours — problems with pest control, a security door and other safety issues identified by compliance officers. Dozens of other violations were to be corrected “under normal contractual timeframes.”
Other reviews by state auditors found that Mental Health Systems was understaffed in key required positions, failed to submit invoices and other documents on time and did not always reimburse subcontractors for work they performed.
In an October letter to a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation director, Bond said Mental Health Systems was being singled out by a specific state staffer.
“We have made multiple requests for relief from these contract violations and for a change in the program manager assigned to these contracts, but have been met with either silence by CDCR or continued harassment,” she wrote.
The canceled state contracts represented a significant piece of Mental Health Systems annual revenue, which according to its most recent tax filing was $75 million. Corrections paid the nonprofit $31 million between 2013 and 2015, records show.
Bond was let go from Mental Health Systems in May, after her longtime chief financial officer filed a whistleblower complaint with San Diego County alleging she approved seeking reimbursements for payments that were not made and checks that were later voided.
Also, under her direction, Mental Health Systems diverted millions of public dollars to a for-profit subsidiary that was losing money and paid $1.2 million to a consulting firm associated with her husband that produced little or no work, the county investigation found.
San Diego County demanded the nonprofit return almost $200,000 to taxpayers and agreed with the nonprofit on other corrections. The county also put its $35 million in contracts with Mental Health Systems on a month-to-month basis so it could better regulate improvements.
The findings of the county investigation were turned over to the District Attorney’s Office and the FBI for review. Former employees at Mental Health Systems said they have been interviewed by criminal investigators in recent weeks. No charges have been filed.