Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Paradise Center Scandal Cliff Notes

On March 20 Jessie Girl made the following comment to a blogging about the Paradise Center Scandal, which said in part....

"Just one quick question: What is the scandal? I'm confused. Come on, Durango, break it down for us. As a long-time reader, I expect a certain directness from you. Lay it on us."

I shall try to cut through to the heart of The Paradise Center Scandal.

The Paradise Center is a private, non-profit organization which was located at 505 S. Jennings Avenue in Fort Worth.

The Paradise Center was a successful consumer run program. Overseeing the Paradise Center is a Board of Directors. Employees of the Paradise Center, such as Manager Teresa Davis, are overseen by the board.

The Paradise Center received no state or federal money. The Paradise Center was funded via various sources, including getting some help from a Tarrant County Agency, MHMR, run by a guy named Jim McDermott.

Read the following widely circulated email written by Jim McDermott in response to a query about operating a non-traditional day treatment drop-in center...

Our consumers' operate a drop in center called Paradise Center. It is controlled by a Board that is 100% consumers. There are about 280 members at any one time. They employee two full-time staff that are interviewed,hired,and supervised by the Paradise Board. The employees are on our payroll primarily for benefits purposes. There is an advisory committee to the Paradise Center Board which primarily act as a fund raising and public education committee.

The State or Feds. provide no funding for the Center. Our MHMR Board values the drop in center and recognizes it reintegration and independence development value to M.H. consumer's so have contributed some financial support from our local funds each year(around $30,00). Tarrant County provides around $40,000 a year and the remainder of their budget is generated by the members and the advisory committee. I do not know their total budget. Below is the name and e-mail address of the lead staff person at Paradise Center as well as the name of their President who heads the Paradise Center Board. I am sure they can provide you with more detail. This is a great program. When State and Federal government decided these programs were not a funding priority any longer our consumer's and the community decided to find a way to keep it going. There is simply no program that has done a better job of promoting independence,self-direction,and confidence in the severely mentally ill consumer than this program.

When the above email was written, McDermott is clearly saying that the Paradise Center is controlled by a Board that is 100% consumers. With 2 full-time staff (one of whom was Teresa Davis) who are supervised by the Paradise Center board. With the employees on the MHMR payroll for benefits purposes.

MHMR provided some funds to the Paradise Center. MHMR provided the building that the Paradise Center operated in. MHMR provided some materials, such as toilet paper, for the center.

Let me repeat one section of McDermott's email...

This is a great program. When State and Federal government decided these programs were not a funding priority any longer our consumer's and the community decided to find a way to keep it going. There is simply no program that has done a better job of promoting independence,self-direction,and confidence in the severely mentally ill consumer than this program.

The Paradise Center was never a MHMR program.

So, what happened?

MHMR came up with a scheme whereby they would use the people making use of the Paradise Center's services to bill Medic-Aid. To make this scheme work MHMR and Jim McDermott needed the cooperation of Teresa Davis and the Paradise Center Board.

Teresa Davis and the Paradise Center Board resisted the pressure from MHMR.

So, the MHMR Bullycrats increased the pressure.

At one point the MHMR Bullycrats went to the bizarre measure of removing the toilet paper which they had supplied the center.

MHMR created the illusion that the Paradise Center was a program of MHMR, including having a page about the Paradise Center on the MHMR website. MHMR's misrepresentation of its relationship created fund raising problems for the Paradise Center due to the center appearing to be a government agency to those who give grants to private non-profits.

And then on February 17, 2011 MHMR took the bullying one step too far. Claiming that Teresa Davis committed an act of insubordination by not attending a MHMR meeting, MHMR terminated their contract with the Paradise Center, effectively firing Teresa Davis.

Basically when MHMR CEO Jim McDermott failed to sway the Board of Directors of Paradise Center, Inc. to agree that the center is a program of MHMR and not a legally separate non-profit organization he took the action of terminating Teresa Davis.

The Paradise Center was then locked out of the center, by MHMR.

The Paradise Center people were not allowed back in the building to get their possessions.

Consumers of the Paradise Center's services showed up and were naturally upset to see their world had been turned upside down.

Teresa Davis was told to make a list of the Paradise Center possessions in the building. Remembering as best she could, a list was made. Those possessions were then put into a POD storage container, with the Paradise Center told they had til the end of the month to take care of the materials in the POD.

MHMR then re-opened the building, calling it a "Drop-In Center," as part of their continuing scheme to monetize the former Paradise Center operation.

MHMR has conducted a smear campaign against Teresa Davis. Some of that has appeared on the blog you are reading right now. And on others.

MHMR, an agency supposedly supposed to operate in the service of the needs of those with Mental Health problems, acted like thugs, disrupting and destroying a smoothly operating center that was performing a vital public service, as noted by the very guy who instigated the destruction of the program he characterized as "great."

I believe MHMR is now under investigation from various fronts.

The way the Paradise Center was taken over may be a criminal act.

Example. If you are a renter, and if your landlord has reason to want you gone, the landlord has to follow certain steps. The landlord can not arbitrarily lock you out and take control of your possessions.

There is way more to this than I have the energy to try and describe. I hope I've made it a  bit clearer why what was done to the Paradise Center is a scandal.

A scandal in which people were hurt. And continue to be hurt.


Broke a#$% taxpayer said...

Holy s#$%&!!!

This big bully and his co-conspirators and paid enablers are gonna cost taxpayers butt loads of legal fees and judgments paid to this nonprofit, its director Ms. Davis, and even all those disabled people he and his cronies have hurt.

And Danforth, we might even have to pay to house and feed this thug CEO Jim McDermott and his MHMR-TC gang.

It may be worth the money to see them face justice, though.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I just heard from a friend inside Hulen Tower that the execs. are celebrating their win in fighting to deny Theresa her application for temporary unemployment pay. Lots of smiling and snide comments like "putting that b**** on food stamps" and other nasty stuff.

But a friend who's a lawyer in another state said that they probably shouldn't be celebrating yet because there are still a lot of "remedies" left for the poor woman.

You know what the worse thing about this is, I was told the max that Theresa could have drawn from unemployment was only around 10k, total. That's nothing, especially when you add up the hours that these execs. used to put together their dirty game against this woman.

That's really misusing taxpayer dollars there, to meet their own personal hate for the woman. They shouldn't be allowed to use our tax dollars for this kind of thuggish deed, man.

Hail king Jim said...

So that's what the powerful ceo king jim looks like. He's been hiding so deep that I thought we'd only find him if military Special Ops find him all scraggly inside a "spider hole" somewhere.

Handsome little DEVIL, this Jim Mcdermott ruler of MHMR ...and little nonprofits with weak and ill people.

Or spineless ones like NAMI--Nuetered and working Against the Mentally Ill-- of Tarrant County.

CSI guy said...

It seems like this clever ceo had intentionally created a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization as a scheme to get a sort of indirect tax from the citizens. The IRS's letter issued to give to donors for tax-deduction purposes was to serve as an inducement for these financial supports that the clever ceo was referring to in his letter.

Meanwhile, what happened to the money usually spent on their social rehab program Opportunity House, which people who works for MHMR says was over half a million annually?

The answer might be connected to the question by the MHMR employee who wondered "how they can afford tompay for that six million dollar office tower" (i.e. Hulen Tower at 3840 Hulen in FW).

Since this nonprofit scheme didn't bring in the dough as he had expected, the clever guy then started another one barely three years later called Visions or MHMR Visions (look it up yourself--very interesting stuff) to bring in donations AND TO CURRY POLITICAL FAVORS.

This might explain why the leaders of Tarrant County government has refused to do anything about this scandal, as was reported by Commissioners Gal. Clues: County Judge Glen Whitley and County Adminstrator G.K. Maenius, the two most powerful people in county government. Ahh, the FW Way in action.

This is so interesting. Kinda like CSI light because the clues and pieces of the puzzle are starting to fit together perfectly...almost. We need some more info/puzzle pieces.

Keep 'em coming, Durango.

Anonymous said...

Yep, checked it out myself. This "MHMR Visions" (T.R. Visions, anyone?) thing looks like a political and financial scheme by this scrooked ceo and his bosses the Trustees and Commissioners Court.

County Judge Glen Whitley's pictures are posted all over the site and he was honored as their Person of the Year in 2010 at the schmooze fest of good ol boys and girls of Tarrant County.

The County Administrator, a bigger version of a city manager, G.K. Maenius and his wife are financial donors, with pictures of his wife smiling at some of the schooze fests.

Of course, the MHMR Trustees and Visions Board members are financial donors and smiling in many of the pictures.

No wonder, one of their shills had posted the confident but telling comments: Who are they going to believe, the powerful ceo with a PhD and 100M+ annual budget OR the poor Paradise Center folks struggling with some serious forms of mental illness (the nut cases, someone classy had said)?

No wonder this Jim McDermott and his so called "gals" were so bold and reckless. They didn't think they'd get 'called out" by their victims. And if so, their many political allies "had their backs".


Anonymous said...

Victims?????? You got do be kidding. Take time to take a deep breath ! You were given your pink slip and told you and Paradise Center had to leave! I still don't know why this simple fact is so hard for you to comprehend!

DRED SCOTT said...

Strapped in the chair of the city's gas chamber
Why I'm here, I can't quite remember
The surgeon general says it's hazardous to breathe
I'd have another cigarette but I can't seeee
>>Tell me that you're gonna believe?<<
-- Paradise City -- G'NR

In this case, I think my belief will extend to the (so-called) "crazies" --the hackles described in Hulen Towers is just too on target.

Psych. Professor said...

Anonymous 10:47 AM, as an MHMR Con/shill-- which is very obvious from your little sentences--you exhibit what researchers in the criminal justice field call "a criminal mind" or a sociopath.

This is a thought process whereby the perpetrator of crimes, of whatever magnitude, has no feelings for the pain and suffering and loss that people feel (i.e. their victims). Just like you're expressing now.

Statistically, about 3-5% of people who lack such a sense of "conscience" exists in every segment of society and fields of work.

So it's no surprise that there are little Bernie Maddoffs running, and running around, MHMR of Tarrant County. The scary part is the "running of MHMR of Tarrant County".

Let's hope that MHMR-TC does not have more than the average...that makes you average, MHMR Con.

Psych Professor said...

As for DRED SCOTT, we need more time and a few tests like the inkblot cards to decipher what you're trying to communicate. Keep on trying, though. Everyone has something to contribute to this public interest discussion.

Anonymous said...

Ummm, mhmr Con. You're twisting the facts. We can read and understand , okay. Not sure what you've been BREATH-ing or what your breath smells like, but you oughta cut down on it.

The biggest fact that you blatantly twisted was "Paradise was told to leave". That's such B.S. The facts displayed on this site shows that your boisses and CON-spirators had tried to steal/ROB the name, the reputation, and the properties of the not-for-profit charity called Paradise Center Inc. UNTIL these people went and reported it to the bosses of Jim McDermott's bosses. (Jimbo ain't that high on the totem pole when you look at the true picture, does he?)

Why are you Cons so threatened by this Theresa woman? Based on the facts, she has "left" so I'm thinking that just the thought and name of your victim--maybe by betrayal, to exude such "guilt" you know like Shakespeare's play?--drives you crazy.

Ab-so-lute-ly cra-zy because her name and her moral and spiritual presence point to your guilt and shamefulness.

On second thought, maybe whatever you're breathing is supposed to help tamp down those deep and painful feelings.

Just trying to understand you where you're coming from (and "going"--if you catch my drif).

Apparently you see no problem with all the shanenegans and the damages done by manipulative CEO and his dishonest "gals", huh?

Keep breathing....and check to see if you have a dying man still stuck in your car's windshield.

Anonymous said...

Well, folks ! The opposite side posts are arrogant and vicious too! So the GROWNUPS are seeing that we have already resolved our side and it is running smoothly! So farewell......GROWNUPS are moving to bigger and better things !

Bullycrat Busters said...

MHMR Con @11:06 AM, so that's what bullies look like when R-U-N after they get outnumbered by people who resist evil when they see and hear about it.

Your last sentence might prove to be more prophetic and significant than you thought. Think about it. But not too long because ...BOO!! Sissy bullycrats and their lap dogs.

Not NAMI-TC said...

What little jimbo and his gangsters did to this nonprofit, its people, and their leader was and is UN-CONSCIENABLE, Psych.Prof.

Why is he and his minions still in charge of tens of millions of our tax dollars? And still overseeing the treatment--MIS-treatment is more accurate, actually---of our neighbors suffering from these disabling mental illnesses.

That's like allowing a known molester to be a foster father. UN-CONSCIENABLE.

Still trying to find the word to describe the local National Association FOR the mentally Ill, though. What they have done to these people is worse than unconscienable. It's something akin to countries that remained "neutral" as Hitler and his thugs were gassing Jews, Gypsies, and any group that they thought were "impure" or "weak". Like the Paradise PEOPLE, NAMI of Tarrant County!!!

Anonymous said...

What happened sounds like a something an autocrat and his thugs do on a regular basis in little countries across the world. BUT this AMERICA for crying out loud.

This power drunk ceo and all his enablers should be exposed , like you're doing, and then led away or thrown out in disgrace. Because what they did and continue to do is a disgrace.

These people with serious mental illness has shown more courage in fighting for their rights than just about every group in this cowardly town (not really a city in terms of mind-set).

That's why abuses of power and public money and erosion of constitutional rights go on and on around this part of America. Right, Moncrief, Granger, Chesapeake, et al????

Anonymous said...

Psych Professor comments from March 23,2011 4:23pm and March 23,2011 at 4:28 pm.

Does the name Major Nidal Hasan, Army Psychiatrist ring a bell to you ? He is being held in Fort Hood on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder.

Let's see now and you are a Psych Professor.....You and your colleagues are no longer respected ! You are bashing people in your comments........ Yet, I wonder how many other Psycho Professors are out there !!!!

Including........you! Go get tested ! We want proof that you are not a nutty professor !!

Psych Prof. said...

Thanks for laughs MHMR con-menter at 04/05 @1:18 PM. Yes, I'm familiar with that infamous psychiatrist, as most people who even pay cursory attention to the news on a regular basis.

Now, back to the education of your little mind. You obviously need to learn the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist first before we can proceed.

Take as much time as your sweet little brain can handle then come back and we'll talk. Took a while but your ego damage apparently has healed enough for you to try again, even using information my 6th grade child could provide about current event. That's progress, nevertheless.

I see you also wanted to "scream" in your comment, but held it in long enough. Again, progress for sociopaths or borderlines.

Psych. Professor said...

And by the way, your handsome (and likely charming) ceo exhibits many traits of a sociopath. Effective and "successful" sociopaths hide their criminal minds behind such outward suficialities. Isn't that right, the senior citizens and gullible members of NAMI-Tarrant County? We know each other. Pretty well.