Thursday, March 17, 2011

March 17 Paradise Center Scandal Update

It has been one month since MHMR-TC's CEO, Dr. Jim McDermott evicted Paradise Center, Inc. from it's home at 505 S. Jennings Avenue. He accomplished this by terminating the grant, and thereby terminating Teresa Davis, the full-time staff member.

It's been reported that it was just a "personnel matter".  In fact, the local NAMI chapter's Board voted to remain neutral on this "personnel issue".

It was not a "personnel issue".  It was not a "Human Resources" issue.

It was a takeover by MHMRTC of a successful consumer-run organization.

People who have known Teresa Davis for 20 years are questioning her integrity, whispering about why she was fired.  It must have been a good reason, or even a bad reason, one member told us.

MHMR won't, or legally can't, come out and say what happened.  But by not saying anything, it leaves alot to interpretation.  Or supposition. Or outright lies.

So our Board is going to release all of the information, including supporting documentation and emails, to the public to show the bullying that MHMR attempted with Teresa Davis and the Board.

Since September 2010, the Board of Directors of Paradise Center, Inc. have been in email contact with the executives of MHMR-TC.  For reasons they will not explain, MHMR wanted the Board to dissolve the non-profit organization and give over the organization to MHMR.   Make it a program of MHMR.  When we declined, the bullying began, ending ultimately in the firing of Teresa Davis and the termination of our grant.

Teresa met with Sonja Gaines (Chief of Mental Health), Donna Massey (Chief of Human Resources), and Susan Garnett (Deputy CEO) over the last few months.

Each meeting had the same theme:  Paradise Center is MHMR's program, and therefore we are in charge of the "program" and  we need to "supervise" you, Teresa, now.

But Teresa, and the 2 directors before her, have been supervised by the Paradise Center Board of Directors, and even hired by us, for her entire 10 year career.

A major hurdle over the years has been that MHMR never actually granted Paradise Center actual money.

They gave us an "in-kind" grant:  a building, utilities, vans, employees.  They controlled how much was spent on those things, not us.

This contributed to the perception by the consumers, MHMR staff members, family members, and the public that Paradise Center is a program of MHMR.  MHMR even STILL lists Paradise Center on their web page!  Talk about misleading!!!  Looks like they even believe their own "misrepresentation"!

And, it kept them in complete control of our little non-profit.  Granters wouldn't fund us since it looked like we were a "program" of a government organization.

When Dr. McDermott could not sway the Board of Directors of Paradise Center, Inc. to  agree that Paradise Center is just a program of MHMR and not a legally separate non-profit organization, he reacted by terminating the Director of Paradise Center, Inc., who is part of the grant that MHMR gives each year.

The Mental Health Consumers who have operated this non-profit organization for over 12 years were stripped of their ownership of the organization.  Their keys were taken away.  They were denied access to the organization's possessions.  But, they were told they could come to the new Center and be members.  Nothing had changed, they were told.

But when the local Mental Health Authority takes over a non-profit organization, EVERYTHING has changed.

The MHMR executives and staff think that the consumers won't notice anything is different if they keep serving coffee and opening the doors.

But these guys  know it is different.  Mental illness does not equal stupidity.  And they're waiting, too, for the time when Paradise Center, Inc. is able to open our doors again.  And they'll find their way to the place where friends help friends in mental health recovery.

Be careful, other small non-profits who receive grant money from MHMR-TC.

You could be next!

Who will come to your defense then?

Or will people who you trusted and supported remain neutral?  See the March newsletter of NAMI Tarrant County for their "position" statement.  

Want to see what's been said by MHMR staff and others about this?  There are some hateful people out there.  Read and comment at your own discretion...

A local blogger picked up this story and has had so many comments to his regular blog, that he started a separate blog just about this whole mess.  (Which you are reading right now)

Watch for more emails showing the long, well-documented emails between MHMR and the Board of Directors of Paradise Center, Inc.

And know that Paradise Center, Inc. is committed to the end.

Paradise Center, Inc.

"friends helping friends in mental health recovery"


Anonymous said...

Attention current MHMR-TC employees: learn from what happened to this pathetic woman. If you dare cross the CEO, he and his team will crush you like a bug. Comprenhendo?

We're watching!!

Disgusted NAMI member said...

As a long time dues paying member of NAMI, I found the board's "Position Statement" as clearly the POSITION OF THESE PEOPLE LEANING OVER AND PUCKERING UP TO THE REAR END OF A CERTAIN little man who abuses his authority and hard earned taxpayer money to buy off people's moral compass and shut their VOICES OF ADVOCACY with fear and intimidation (along with some phony charm).

I've seen some dumb decisions by all levels of NAMI, but nothing compares to this cowardly and unconscienable act of betrayal. Of their own children, family, and fellow citizens.

I realize that you need the use of the little man's copy machines--paid with our tax dollars, not his money--but you'd really exchange such minor considerations for your dis-reputation?

I'll buy you some brand new copy machines, color ones at that, if it would help you act a fraction in the manner that's even a fraction of the courage that the Paradise Center people showed recently.

Seriously...two should do for the monthly newsletter I believe. With enough ink left to push Bravo Health HMO and keep them from losing even more million$ in profit. Let me know.

BTW, there's a bunch of nasty looking brown stains all over your face that you might want to clean off. If it's okay with your little ruler up in Hulen Tower, that is.

I'll keep my membership current so i can watch you get humiliated when your little king gets thrown off his little throan.

Anonymous said...

The real reason behind MHMR-TC and their arrogant CEO's reckless and ruthless actions appear to be out of sheer fear---from getting their stupid a$%&* sued by Bravo Health for fraudulent misrepresentation to their business partner(I.e. Paradise Center is OUR program and we'll get those mental patients to do as we want, including enrolling with Bravo Health AND working their dumb tails off for free so we both can make more profit).

Apparently Teresa Davis is not one of Jim McDermott's "gals" , women executives he has surrounded himself who he had groomed/trained then promoted because they give unquestioned obedience to THE MAN.

The MAN who hides behind these women'sexecutive
dress suits, including not being man enough to face off with the short (in height only it would seem) but highly principled Teresa Davis one on one. He had to get his high price lawyer and some of his "gals" (we get so sick of hearing that demeaning term) together just to try and level the moral and intellectual playing field.

He's been hiding and avoiding answering any questions about why he had chosen to hurt so many people because he knows his stuttering lame excuses would make him the newest YouTube sensation for sure.

Many of us are tired of this manipulator in chief and his "gals" causing so much unnecessary drama and problems for the whole agency. They don't have to go home, but they have to go so they won't hurt anyone else.

We know this petty dude has and will hurt people who don't blindly follow his schemes. Teresa and her people better be prepared because he will stoop pretty low. As in gutter level low.

Paul said...

This is some serious and disturbing stuff, ladies and gentalmens.

So, who is helping them people fight against the bullies?

Who can we report to about all the dirty things they done?

Can we call the police or the DA?

Anonymous said...

Is there no state of Texas agency the oversees entities like MHMR that intervenes in cases like this?

Johnny Reb said...

Fort Worth is a very corrupt city.

nami dad said...

Nami'$ so called position statement had a typo. It wasn't a nuetral positon. It's the position of an advocacy organization that has been NEUTERED, thus lacking the you know what to do right by these paradise folks. And doing wrong by blindly doing as local political Boss High tells them.

Not even bothering to ask some basic questions and to try and make an informed decision. I forgot, we don't need to because the board already has an MHMR-TC informant and Bravo Health promoter.

Boss Hoggg sure knows how to control those in his pockets lining their pockets with taxpayer dollars.

Money talks. Money also shuts up undesired talk.

Anonymous said...

My brother was one of them leaders of Paradice Center who had chose to follow Theresa's incuragemint that any of them "go to the new drop-in center if you think it will help you stay well and healthy". Well after tryng for a cupple weaks, he's getting prety streshed out and starting not to be doing that good--a very bad sign for him, and many persons with his mentil ilness.

The cauze wear the suddenly and drastick changes in everything. Every thing! Evin the former part-time helper who now full-time and sort of in charge but not really sence other poeple are telling her what to do all the time (he say)has changed in how she treats him and other clients. Wores he say.

I saw clints sitting out in sun and hot black top area now , no more chairs in the shaid like before. That's bad for some takin strong medz. Not heelthy or humain to do that to poeple, you knowe?

His kinda simple but discribes the sitchuwation best, " The MAB and the consummers ain't running the place no more. Them mean new people are. And the way they do things remind me of the hospital system (state psych word)".

He also feelings a lot of pressure to "sign up for shifts", which he say is work in running and cleaning the place, sins "them new people in charger and even pour old L___don't know how to do things like we done before."

I don't know what to do or who to raport it to, but it jest seams that what MHMR and that Mc whadever his name did was very very damnaging to the mental health and dayly living stablety of the clients.

I'm really disturbed by hearing him tell of this "constant pressure", including calls to they homes, to force clients like my brother , and even "lower funkshunning" ones, to work when they are appearingly unwilling or unpreared to do it. It seems kind of arbusiv and sounds like they try to exployt them sick peeple.

Mad-Like-Hell said...

Who the hell does this Jim McDermott guy think he is to invade the legally protected "space" and operations of a bona fide 501/c/3 non-profit organization?

I just checked it out on the state's, IRS's, and charitiable data sites. Paradise Center Inc. is an independent corporation with its own By-laws and organizational structure.

It matters not how much financial support MHMR or Jim McDermott or any one else gives to such an organization. Such organizations are independent and have legal protections.

If, maybe more accurately WHEN, this organization sues the governmental bodies in the forms of MHMR and its local government sponsor the Tarrant County government under the Commissioners Court, there will be a pretty price to pay for that utterly stupid move by this guy.

We taxpayers will end up paying for all the damages and legal costs that these incompetent people and entities have engaged in, while using the authority and money we had entrusted them with. What the hell were they thinking?

Sorry, but I am so angry with this reckless--in both common and legal meanings of the word-- and irresponsible behavior.

Last question: why the hell have they not taken actions to mitigate the damages from their foolish actions (and failure to act)?

These people should be investigated, I don't care by who. And once evidence is collected, throw their collective a#$%^ out. Every single one of them. They're a disgrace to the community.

Jesus' disciple said...

So do Lon Burnam and Wendy Davis or councilman Joel Burns know about this scandal and the injustices committed on those people with mentally illness?

I remember clearly that after the injustices associated with the raid on the nearby Rainbow Lounge (next block from Paradise Center??), those three people were issuing public statements condemning what appeared to be improper and unjustice official conduct.

Well, less than two years later a select class of people who are susceptible to being exploited and abused are in the same situation. Although no sensational bloody pictures or eloquent witnesses are involved, the injuries are likely even more damaging and inflicted on so many people than those in the GLBT group.

This group of third class citizens only have this tenacious blogger and some community supporters to give voice to their cause. No prominent city councilman who is one of their own or an influential writer-reporter who had connections with his former employer the Star-Telegram and other media outlets. Much less, the pro bono service of well respected local attorney like Jon Nelson.

I guess that's how things work: it's who you know, how much money you have, and what political value you offer to the powers that be.

At least, Jesus counts these "least of these" among his family. The Paradise people may be going through hell in this corrupt town but they will find a welcoming place and family after this present life.

Just a little solce to help with all the sadness, friends.

Anonymous said...

Now regarding the great City of Fort Worth !

If you deon't Love it then take the next highway out of town !

Same thing on America !

If you don't like it or Love It....... LEAVE !

Paying-N-Staying said...

Now regarding love it or leave commenter, we agree on loving our city, community, and our great nation.

One big difference, many of us citizens and voters who get taxed at every turn EXPECT responsible and ethical use of all the money and power/authority that go with those million$ and billion$.

You're certainly free to take any of those taxpayer funded roads out of this city and country as well if you get too upset when this Jim McDermott and his cronies get kicked out. And based on the facts and circumstances, it's WHEN and not IF.

Anonymous said...

March 22, 2011 5:01 PM

I think Jim McDermott and his cronies are doing a great job! As far as him not commenting much! He is a business Professional and He doesn't have a reason to comment! He did his jobn and handed out his temination notice to Teresa Davis, he had her items put in a storage box, he took keys and changed locks!

He has done his job and done it well! So he probably has moved on to higher priority items than this!

He now has a smoothier running Drop in Center she he has more important things to take care of.

Paying-N-Staying I seriously doubt that either group will be moving out of the City.
In the end I imagine Fort Worth will now have two new centers operating in Fort Worth.

My comment was intended for the People who disrepect Fort Worth and America.

There have been comments on different bloggings referring to Fort Worth as "Fort Worthless", etc. You get the point.

Having seen alot of homeless people get Apartments as the result of the Mayor, Mike Moncrief's Homeless Coalition! It brings me to tears thinking of all these folks not having to sleep in shelters or even less on the streets.

Broadway Baptist Church feeds the homeless on Thursday nights at the Agape Meal. During this time prayer requests are taken and so many times request are made that we prayer for them a place to live. I am thankful that we are able to provide them a "hot meal". We rejoice with them as they give reports back of finding apartments.

Room in the Inn is another project in Fort Worth where churches take different nights and bring people to their church to get in out of the cold or out of the hottest of days! Broadway Baptist Church started this Project in Fort Worth. Other church have stepped up and started also doing Room in the Inn.

Fort Worth is a great City who tries to make a difference in all peoples lives! Including homeless people!

Hopefully, with time people will see what a great City Fort Worth is!

My homeless friends I have loved and worked with are "thankful" for Fort Worth!

Baptist Boy said...

That's much better than your drive-by little comment earlier, Anonymous. People will give you a fair hearing if you give them something of substance to work with.

As a member of Broadway B.C., I'm very familiar with all the things you've described, Plus the split in the church over whether to keep helping "those people", esp. in allowing them to sleep inside OUR church BUILDING when it's freezing outside AT NIGHT...a few night a year.

FW is "a day late" and a few million dollar$ short when it comes to helping the homeless population. My kids had to write letters to the mayor and council at VBS last year asking them not to cut the promised funding for the Initiative (where's all the riches from gas drilling?). Seems to be an increase in dishonest and deceptive actions by public officials in the city in recent years.

Before heaping praises on the mayor and other "city fathers" for the 10-year Way Home initiative, read the news from the last five or so years. Only after realizing the humiliation of being the only large American city with NO PLAN did the city leaders begin this initiative, most of it copied from other progressive cities like LA, Denver, and Seattle.

Paradise Center Inc. did so substantially more, relative to its size and resources, to help end homelessness than most any other organizations. Because the large percentage of people who are homeless suffer from serious mental illness and lack the stablizing social network of support to keep them on their pharcological treatment and to maintain their own housing in the community. That's what Paradise Center and Teresa Davis, a graduate of the Southwestern Seminary's challenging academic regiment, did so well, for so little money, with so little praise and attention, and for so long...until the greed of dumb bullycrats destroyed most of it!!!

In light of this sobering fact, the bullycrats at MHMR that you think so highly of, especially the girly man (you said "she he" and we know what that means)who definitely have more important prioriries to focus on right now.

Like calling his political bosses and cronies for help to save his crooked a$$. Maybe looking at the ceo position that's about to open up in El Paso (yea I read the stuff,and everyone should too!).

And retaining a real lawyer instead the pro bono guy MHMR's been relying on for years. Maybe an attorney specializing in criminal matters for each and everyone of the CONsprirators (tip of the hat to the person that "designed" this word).

I pray for them MHMR cons and bullycrats...that they stop prey-ing on the weak and "the least of these".

Yep, the "she he" ceo has bigger things to take care of than answer serious questions about his apparent misconduct and the million$ he's costing the local community (see above about Paradise) and to Bravo Health, especially before this is all over.

The little bully is more than worth-less. He's a major pain and a big financial liabilty.

Taxpaying businesswoman said...

Hey Anonymous Con, little Jimbo is a PUBLIC OFFICIAL and a PUBLIC SERVANT. Not a businessman running his own business...I wish he would get the hell out and do something that only involves himself AND his money. NOT OURS.

HE and HIS CRONIES will have to give answers to the PUBLIC eventually about the mounting factual evidence...with you maybe being one of them, or a just one of his puppets-on-a-string.

Sorry, there ain't much else to help you, MHMR Con.

Anonymous said...

Baptist Boy, I think along with so many people you have missed the main point " Throughout America and even to the County and City levels we are having "Major Shortfalls" that Leadership is trying very hard to "Balance the Budget". Let's be realistic here........We cannot no longer spend more money than we have. I am Proud that Leadership is cutting programs and finding cheaper other ways for programs to function.

In Teresa Davis and Paradise Center is no longer being allowed to be dependent on MHMRTC for funding. You may not agree with me but, she was insubordinate to not attend the meeting. I think her "Council" gave her wrong advice. MHMRTC paid her salary, and covered alot of Paradise Center various expenses. She should have gave them the common courtesy to attend the meeting!

There comes a time in people's lives that people have to learn to stand on their own two feet and learn to be self sufficient. And this especially holds true to various agencies.

You had a MHMRT commitment for a short time. It was not a LIFETIME commitment. So once you get over the shock in the long run it will be better for you, your Paradise Center, and your Paradise Center board.

Baptist Boy, You hace missed the point of what I wrote about Broadway Baptist Church. The decision for Room In The Inn is based on what is best for "all churches". In running Room In The Inn in putting the program in place they had to decide where would be the best place for this program. So the Baptist Center was chosen. With time everyone is hoping enough church can volunteer to cover other nights. But, their is a rotation among current churches in how the program functions effectively.

Churches Nation Wide is also feeling budget crunches including Broadway Baptist. So we have to be good stewards of our tithes and offerings.
Being a Broadway Member I will not go into great length about "private business matters" and the Board probably would hope you would do the same.

Well, blogging so pretty non productive between the groups so it's best that you "blog to each other in your group". We have new things to move on too. God Bless You. Praying for You!

Baptist Boy see you in church ! Signing off is Baptist Girl.

MHMR employee & Baptist said...

So called Baptist Girl, you're an MHMR Con artist. Probably works closely with the HR chieftess and the girly man ceo to know so much details. Thanks for sharing.

Nice try with the new spin of Paradise Center being totally dependent on tax-funded government agency MHMR of Tarrant County. What? It's not "an MHMR program" any more? See what exposure of misconduct and truth produce.

I've seen the new lines about 'dependent" , not a "LIFETIME COMMITMENT",, standing your own two feet, blah MH-blah-MR-blah. How long did you and your "brain trust" spend in coming up with this and the new revelation regarding YOUR employee's "insubordination"?

If you're truly a Christian like you claim, you would have stood for the truth as Ms. Davis did instead of serving as the enabler and CON-spirator to the girly guy's unethical and untruthful scheme. It sounds like Ms. Davis chose not to bow down to some weeny demigod sitting up inside Hulen Tower (of babbling when he's going nuts, as is often the case--know what I mean?), much less continue to carry out his obvious chicanery.

If you're a real Baptist with just the most basic understanding of Baptist doctrine and polity, you would not try to spout these nonsensicle and lame spins regarding how an AUTONOMOUS entity relates to a larger entity, no matter how much financial support the bigger one provides.

You're spouting off about Paradise Center's financial life is consistent with the level of competence and honesty of your Con-ning co-horts inside that Tower of Babbling.

Accounting dude said...

According to the MHMR TC's Trustees' Minutes from last summer, MH director said that they had over 1 and 1/2 MILLION DOLLARS in EXCESS REVENUE.

What's the truth? That glowing report or the new spin about deficit funding and fiscal responsibily as it relates to WHY MHMR did what it did to Paradise Center?

Some one is out and out lying.

Old Methodist said...

To the MHMR staff/apologist who signed off as Baptist Girl,

I guess you didn't get to see the rest of little jimmy's email singing the praises of Paradise Center. Based on what's reported here and that email circulating around, MHMR_TC was using their checks to pay Ms. Davis' salary but it was actually the money from the grant that paid her salary and other basic minimal expenses for Paradise, which by the way was serving many many MHMR clients in giving them the psych-social rehab and socialization skills.

It may help you understand better if I use an analogy. It's kinda like MHMR-TC's getting those high dollar grants from federal programs (like the crisis response and training deal a year or so ago) and other funders. YES, MHMR-TC used the checks with their name on it to pay certain staff and contractors but THE REAL PAYOR/s WAS THE FUNDER. See the snippet from the email that was posted above about funding sources for Paradise before you go making yourself look foolish because you seem to be relatively intelligent and educated.

Too bad you're held back from growing professionally and otherwise due to working for this particular mhmr agency under this insecure and immoral (not just amoral but the mounting evidence led to this conclusion) ceo.

Intellectual honesty will go along ways in any dealings, especially in a controversy or a debate. So please be honest with yourself and not allow this little dude's little ways make you smaller than you are, and can be, both as a professional and a person.

Especially if you trukly are a person of faith who's a follower of Christ and Christian teachings. Be like Ms. Davis, who does not seem to be going around blaring about her faith and Christian ethics BUT whose conduct and character clearly and consistently made those things abundantly apparent.

Throughout all these ugly and dark days, she is a profile of Christian faith and Judeo-Christian values and ethical practice in the secular world and "market place".

Brent said...

Wow, well said Old Methodist and both Baptists, especially the one working AT MHMR-TC but who apparently hasn't been corrupted by the so called McDermott-itis.

Amen, amen, and amen to all your well reasoned and eloquent comments.