Mental Health Authority seeks more than $489,000 after fraud finding

Posted at 7:47 PM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-14 19:47:35-04

Almost half a million of your tax dollars are at stake in a battle between the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority and a Detroit non-profit group. A battle that could ultimately lead to criminal charges.

Rodney Barnes is the Interim CEO of 'Operation Get Down' which provides substance abuse and mental health treatment, along with transitional housing.

They were contracted through the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority to provide substance abuse services.

The problem is over an Operation Get Down employee who was providing the treatment didn’t have the required state certification. 

In fact, he was using a fraudulent certification that was discovered in a recent audit.

“It’s important that consumers get quality services and one of the ways that we know we’re delivering quality services is that people who deliver those services have certain credentials,” said Rodney Barnes/Interim CEO/Operation Get Down.

Barnes fired the employee with the fraudulent certification, and the county ended their contract with Operation Get Down. Now, they want their money back in the amount of $489,413. But, Operation Get Down’s CEO says they should pay back much less.

“I think that the services were rendered, the question is this person’s particular credential, and that credential he did not possess,” said Barnes.  

Kevin McNamara is a board member for the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority. 

“If you’re not qualified to provide the services, you don’t bill for the services, you don’t provide the services. They should not continue to be a vendor, we want our money back.

On Wednesday, the Mental Health Authority board will meet and could decide whether Operation Get Down needs to pay back the full $489,000.Right now, the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing for potential criminal charges.