April 19 was the last day we posted a compilation of Paradise Center Scandal blog comments. Originally this was going to be done every 3 days. But that proved too daunting.
Since April 19 a couple hundred comments have been made on the various postings on the Paradise Center Scandal blog.
To give you an idea of what people are currently saying about the Paradise Center Scandal below are the most recent 25 comments....
I'd hate to be the attorney representing this ceo and his bunch since I wouldn't be sure that they had told the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
By Anonymous on A Harris County Advocate Weighs In On The Removal ... on 5/5/11
Amerigroup Community Health corporation should thank Paradise Center and its director because it pretty much got the Tarrant Service Area all to itself and raking in millions of excess revenue and unexpected profit margin. Maybe Amerigroup can make a large donation, from its millions of unexpected profit, to the Paradise organization in carrying out its mission to improve the quality of life and Heath of the community.
By Joyce on The Life of the New Paradise Center Continues to I... on 5/5/11
We've known Jim McDermott for a long time. He has little feeling for the mentally ill and even _much less regard for them as full human beings. We often get the impression that he sees himself as the head rancher and the clients are his nameless herd that he prods and uses to serve his own interests. The employees were viewed just a tad better because thy're not disabled and could fend for themselves. This scandal is the collision between his dehumanizing attitude and a group of self- empowered mental health consumers who refused to be treated as less than full human beings. As far as the cause for the human and civil rights of people with serious mental illness goes, this group's courage and determination have more than made up for the significant losses on the parts of neutralized advocacy groups like NAMI and MHA. History will show that this was a major victory for the rights and dignity of people suffering with serious mental illness and that they "overcame" IN SPITE OF BETRAYALS BY SO CALLED FRIENDS, SUPPORTERS, ADVOCATES, AND EVEN INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES CLAIMING TO SUPPORT CIVIL RIGHTS AND HUMAN DIGNITY UNDER BOTH THE LAWS OF MAN AND THAT OF THE ALMIGHTY. This scandal revealed which master certain individuals really served and what kind of moral and ethical foundation they have.
By James S. on The Life of the New Paradise Center Continues to I... on 5/5/11
It must have been an uncomfortable few months for Jimbo and MHMR since their Medicaid HMO partner was on suspension since the first of the year, which resulted in most of MHMR clients being enrolled with the other HMO, and their competition, Amerigroup Community Health. Which means that special arrangements had to made for MHMR psychiatrists to contract as "providers " in the Amerigroup stable...until BRAVO Health -MHMR-TC could legally do Medicaid business. Ironic that MHMR-TC 's clever plan to work with BRAVO to double team Amerigroup got turned around, where MHMR-TC was forced to be business partners with Amerigroup even before their partner BRAVO. BRAVO must have many reasons to distrust and blame MHMR-TC for their losses. An industry analyst wrote last month that BRAVO will lose even more money since most people will not want to go through the hassles of switching HMOs after they've already gotten used to Amerigroup. Could this fact help explain the evasiveness of MHMR-TC leaders and their launching nasty but immature personal attacks on the Paradise leaders and their properties?? They were p.o.'d and desperate from realizing that they'd been outplayed at every turn by a weak consumer-run organization and their director Ms. Davis
By guelma on Anonymous Research Into the MHMR-TC Relationship W... on 5/4/11
So this is the little POD container that we've heard so much about. It's rather small to be able to contain all of the "junk" and "trashy" things that belong to the little nonprofit organization, isn't it? I can see how bad it made the mhmr agency look really bad. The loss of PR points is hard to put a monetary value on, but the money used to pay for this portable container, packing and loading, and staff time spent on trying to put out the fires from this controversy should be in the tens of thousands of dollars. That's not counting legal bills and loss of productivity that were suffered. At least BP put their leader front and center to deal with the aftermath of their catastrophe, which incidentally is turning into a scandal after recent revelation that BP had covered up prior problems that foreshadowed the catastrophe. Interestingly, there appears the be a growing list of questionable behavior on the part of MHMR-TC leadership that foreshadowed this mess they've found themselves stuck in. Ironically, legal action/s could be perceived as a less costly solution for the agency, financially, emotionally, organizationally, and so on. To effectively resolve a major tactical blunder of this kind will require lots of monetary payments to the injured parties and recovery time , and usually sweeping changes in leadership.
By P.R. consultant on The Life of the New Paradise Center Continues to I... on 5/4/11
BRAVO Health's use of propaganda, local politics, and money in the form of "donations" to select groups in the community is like a smaller version of the Chesapeake campaign to subdue the community in 2007-2008. Remember the billboards, bus wraps, and 30-minute infomercials telling us to " thank Barnett shale for jobs, education " clean-burning natural gas, and "get behind the Shale"?? And Chesapeake was tight with the City of FW and its Strongman Mike Moncrief. Don't forget all the donations to neighborhood associations and churches that served the dual objectives of having these groups exert their influence to push property owners to sign gas drilling leases with Chesapeake AND to "neutral-ize" them when situation like the abuses and exploitation of people on Carter Street were perpetrated. The neighborhood association did put up a brief but half- hearted protest to help keep the huge gas pipeline off people's front yards. But when it came down to taking a firm stance and to fight that bullying by the private+public team of CHK and Moncrief, there was no advocacy by the neighborhood association on behalf of the few who dared to put up a resistance against that tyrannous saga. SOUND FAMILIAR? ??
By COWTOWNER on Anonymous Research Into the MHMR-TC Relationship W... on 5/4/11
The thugs tried to rob and use this group's properties that were apparently just fine. Amazingly, everything turned into junk and trash as soon as these bureaucratic pirates got caught and forced to return a community center full of properties. Interesting how their perception of reality changed in response to exposure of their dirty deeds. Shameful and shameless.
By Artie on Some Words From The Watchful Clinic Case Manager A... on 5/3/11
We MHMR-TC employees recall the CEO making statements, both verbal and written, several times over the years that "as long as I'm here, Paradise Center will get the necessary funding to continue operations". Wonder how he's going to keep his word? We have a feeling it will be via some kind of legal instrument. Man, MHMR-TC has a savvy law firm providing it with sound legal counsel...the same lawyers and firm guiding Haltom City throughout its scandal with the economic development fund scheme that was reported by the FW Weekly last week. Small county, isn't it?
By hulen tower moles on You Can Now Visit The Paradise Center Website & Ma... on 5/3/11
Re the cooperation between consumer-run organization Paradise Center and a managed-care company to construct and deliver needed services, it really wouldn't have mattered because Jimmy McDermott would not have allowed it since that would seen as even more loss of control (and thus manipulation) for him. The man has become even more egotistical the longer he's been the big dog in Tarrant County, which was accentuated by the death of the most veteran county leader DA Tim Curry. Compared to Jim McDermott's 24 year rule over MHMR-TC, elected officials like the County Judge, County Commissioners, Sheriff, and DA are like rookies in county government. The massive ego, unchecked power, and lack of activist energy all contributed to the reckless behavior of this little autocrat. Employees, consumers, and even advocates and community leaders were simply pawns in the man's quest for more personal power and gain. Those seen as being in his way would be bought of, pushed aside, manipulated/charmed, or just bullied and destroyed like Theresa Davis and the Paradise Center organization, whose successful fight was a major for Jim McDermott and eroded most of the perceived power that he had carefully constructed over almost a quarter century as a "public servant". That woman and the consumer organization have done something historic in terms of resisting tyranny in Tarrant County and asserting the rights and power of mental health consumers in the state of Texas. Such an accomplishment is no big deal in more progressive states in the Union. But this is Texas, the state that's consistently in the bottom five in just about every way when it comes to the issue of mental illness and consumer rights and empowerment.
By Wayne on The Life of the New Paradise Center Continues to I... on 5/3/11
We still stay in touch with people we knew when we worked at MHMR-TC and they say that "the Creative Executive Officer " was caught lying about Paradise being "overbudget" by almost $30K in the last fiscal year. The Paradise people apparently called him out on such a big whopper by pointing out that the contract for in-kind grants placed control over every dollar in MHMR's hands. They're pretty sure that it was a dumb "pretext for the takeover of Paradise Center against their will and their legal rights". They point to hundreds of thousands of agency money thrown at making costly repairs at the Jennings Place quadplex and taking out the huge kitchen in the Paradise community center that's now a clinic-offices and the overpaying to buy the polluted lot at 507 s. Jennings, which took several months and extensive environmental clean up just to have a useless "medical record storage building " and a small picnic area...right next door to a busy gay bar and major intersection. So whoever it is from the clinic commenting about the crowded clinic in the mental ghetto surrounded by several gay bars is right on target. Nothing's wrong with gay bars, it's the choice by MHMR bigwigs to cram three neighborhood clinics into a crowded facility surrounded by bars, and the activities that usually go along with such an area (a few loud drunks, some inappropriate behavior, lots of alcohol, broke bottles nearby, etc.). Of all the places in Tarrant county, MHMR-TC could only use that location? And forcing people to take long bus rides or taxi services from all over the southern part of the county? Why? Why subject the clients or consumers to such hardship and, frankly, such unhealthy environment? But the executives are perched on a multimillion dollar office tower near TCU area?? Whose needs (and "wants") are really being served in all of this is the question that we keep coming across while working for MHMR- TC and particularly now after seeing the facts and the blatant dishonesty and plain disregard for common decency. For the sake of the many good employees like our friends, but especially for the thousands of disabled people under the care of the agency, we pray that much needed leadership change would take place soon before more damage and embarrassment.
By Anonymous on A Harris County Advocate Weighs In On The Removal ... on 5/3/11
The now sanitized and sterilized drop in center has to be tightly controlled because as of May first BRAVO and MHMR-TC can start making profits off the disabled people who go there, many now not by choice because the MHMR staff make it a requirement that they go there while they wait for appointments to see someone in the clinic or to get their money from case managers to pay bills. That's a lot of control and power in the hands of MHMR. The reason for the quietness is partly due to power and control that's the MHMR Way. Plus, the four mentally ill peer leaders Tony, Sandy, Lynne, and Cam are having to deal with the stress of working under demanding MHMR-TC +BRAVO management along with working "over" their sicker peers who have many needs, annoying quirks, and great difficulties dealing with drastic changes and the loss of any say in how things are done as was the practice with their consumer-run Paradise Center. Please keep in mind that the four ill peer leaders MHMR-TC has paid to be in charge of running the place are more familiar with being powerless clients and mental patients rather than a seasoned professional like Teresa Davis. And as mentally ill people they have built-in anxieties anyways even without the additional stress. But that's what the CEO and Chiefs wanted. I'm doing what I can as an HR person to support them. But they hanging on so far.
By Anonymous on The Life of the New Paradise Center Continues to I... on 5/3/11
Some of our local tax dollars should go toward keeping this organization going since it has apparently shown over the years that it helps hundreds of people stay well mentally, socially, and even physically (they notice problems and get needed attention), which in turn means financial savings to our community. And doing so will enable the organization to help improve the quality of life and public perception of the whole community. Just like investments in the education and enrichment of our children make the community attractive for businesses and families, such little financial support for this group's work is a great investment for the perception of our community as well. Remember the expression about the quality of a community or society is often based on how it treats its weakest members. So far, Fort Worth and Tarrant County are getting just a passing mark in this respect. On the other hand, the community is summa cum laude, if not Valedictorian, when it comes to preferential treatment for the wealthy and the politically connected.
By Change the FW Way on You Can Now Visit The Paradise Center Website & Ma... on 5/3/11
One of the sleazy mhmh caseworkers even made threats to her client, a good friend of mine, for daring to join the Paradise group in th3ir non-violent protests against jim macdermot and his gang.she told him that the police could get involved and that she wasn't gonna bail him out. plus she told him he could go back to prison since he had served time for a crime he did a long time ago when he wasn't in his rite mind. yes its try that you have to be a client of mhmr or three other small agencies to get shelterplus apartment. section 8 quit taking names for their waiting list a few years ago. without shelterplus, people like me and my friends wood be homeless or cramped into those nasty group homes in the rough neighborhoods. i heard that the mean peer leader name Lynne has a nonprofit organization to provide nice group homes for mentally ill people, but after seeing how nasty shes been to teresa davis who was so kind and patience with her, i'm going no where near her. but i do feel sorda sorry for her sense mhmr is playing with her head and using her mental illness to make her use her meanest against good and decent people like teresa and even lynne's own peers who are members of paradise. she must really need money and not doing well with her mental illness because she used to hate mhmr and jim macdurmot where teresa had to talk to her about being appropriate and respecting even people she couldn't stand, like people who smoke, are overwait or too loud (everybody know what color they are). something should be done to make mhmr do the right thing for there clients. oh yea, n.a.m.i. was very kind to the consumers when linda groom and mr. and mrs. cates were in charge. consumer's quit n.a.m.i. when the new people kept us separate from them like wear not good enough for them or something. i wish n.a.m.i. would go back too supporting mental ill people again too.
By shelterplus consumer on The Paradise Center Scandal 3 Day Blog Comment Col... on 5/2/11
Add these factors together and one gets this scandal: a man in power over a large taxpayer funded agency + "local control" (i.e. little to no state oversight and having the Trustees and County Commissioners in his pocket) + a "corporate culture" in the agency that rewards conformity and mediocrity + an insecure egomaniac who knows how to use taxpayer funds and donations to his 501(c)3 nonprofit charity to buy political favors and to "neutralize" voices of advocacy + a group of people /victims not known to have any sense of empowerment to resist abuse and exploitation + a community that is rife with civic/political apathy and lack of moral clarity and leadership. Throw in the love of money and the corrupting power of money and the result was this contemptible abuse of public funds and authority to skirt common decency and the rule of law in the insatiable pursuit of personal power and private gain...by people entrusted to help those that they victimized. Along the line of abuses by priests and other religious authorities, teachers, foster parents, and such. A cruel betrayal of public trust.
By Retired Nurse on The Life of the New Paradise Center Continues to I... on 5/2/11
It looks like BRAVO Health has done business almost completely with the federally controlled Medicare program. So I would agree with the conclusion by the first anonymous commenter on 4/28 that this is major "foot in the door" for the corporation as far as state-controlled Medicaid program. Medicaid can be and often is much more profitable than the more stringent retirement (with some for disabled workers on SSDI) medical benefit Medicare. So I see why this market is so valuable to BRAVO and its new parent company Health Spring. No wonder BRAVO is plastering ads all over and handing out donations to groups like NAMI-TC and MHA . I still can't get my hand on information to explain why BRAVO was placed on a five month suspension to begin doing business by the state's Dept of HHS back in December. The information provided on this blog would make it reasonable to think that THE only reason for that rather surprising--and pretty harsh-- suspension was due to Theresa Davis' refusal to collude with the McDermott gang. Because thinking about it what McDermott and his gang did to Ms. Davis and Paradise Center were also rather surprising and extremely harsh. Aside from criminal prosecution, I can only think that something as serious and very consequential as such a financial matter would explain the disturbing decision and damaging actions on the part of the agency's highest level of leadership. Some with master level social worker licenses could be in some hot water with the State Board since they as professionals in that field should have known of the likely harm that such sudden and drastic changes would have on people recovering from very serious mental illness. But they thought that their victims would ever speak up and call them out like the Paradise group has. Give Ms. Davis a lot of credit for not only standing her ground but also for helping to give those folks the self confidence and cohesion as a group to fight and essentially win this David v. Goliath fight. That's very remarkable in itself there because it looked like the McDermott gang and cronies were throwing everything at them to make them lose heart and give up. Your blog shares a lot of credit because it helped expose wrongdoing and spread the truth against the MHMR-TC political machinery.
By Retired executive on Anonymous Research Into the MHMR-TC Relationship W... on 5/1/11
The bland comments were what nami-tc's masters told them to say. They've been directed not to say or do anything else. Pretty disgusting to see.
By nami mommy on NAMI Tarrant County is Very Interested in Supporti... on 5/1/11
For an agency that's always whining about lack of taxpayer funding to provide basic and essential mental health services, MHMR-TC sure does dole out a lot of money. To NAMI-TC, MHA, Mental Health Connection, DBSA, and the newly launched web information site, which is redundant since MHA is supposed to be the official information and referral "clearinghouse" for mental health matters. And MHMR-TC's mouthpieces dared try in earlier blog comments claim that their improper and hostile takeover of the consumer-run Paradise Center was due to b7dgetary constraints? Of course, after that goofy excuse was shot down they went on and tried other silly excuses. The constant was the mean spirited personal attacks on the Resistance and individual supporters from an innocent child to gravely ill individuals. These are major signs of a sickly organization. The sickness hurts 1,400 +employees and thousands of clients and their families and friends. Of course, other parts of the local healthcare See more...
By JPS administrator on Anonymous Research Into the MHMR-TC Relationship W... on 5/1/11
That shoddy letter does show very little regard for the PEOPLE who were upset and/or confused by the disappearance of their organizational leaders and apparently their beloved professional staff person. Another side of this guy's arrogance and self-centeredness is reflected in the statement about supporting consumer activities over the past 25 years. The number just happen to coincide with his tenure at MHMR-TC. He's saying that in the 17 years before his rule MHMR of Tarrant county did NOT support consumer activities. What other distortions has the guy committed? If he and his team were working in the private sector, they would have been suspended and/or fired a long time ago once the scandal was exposed. But unfortunately for the taxpayers and the people living with mental illness, they rule over a bureaucracy in a morally challenged community.
By Anonymous on A Harris County Advocate Weighs In On The Removal ... on 5/1/11
I stopped by to drop off some donation at the new Paradise Center last week and was pleased to see about a dozen of the leaders and members busily trimming the hedges and putting things that had been boxed up. They looked very happy and said that they really like the new place very much, especially with the freedom from MHMR in terms of their use of the facility. Teresa Davis wasn't there because she and a couple of leaders were meeting with lawyers I was told. The leaders also reported that as an organization NAMI of Tarrant County has not even contacted them at all. But various members have, some have been quietly providing support all along, which is a good sign that all's not lost for the advocacy organization. Despite all the shock, pain, and betrayals these people have endured they seem very resilient and united. And very optimistic about the future.
By The G Family on You Can Now Visit The Paradise Center Website & Ma... on 4/30/11
It looks like Tony and Lynn got "outed" by their mhmr puppetmasters. You two clients may believe the b.s. those manipulators have been feeding you about how important you are and all, but the truth is they're using you for their own purposes. You're no "manager" to them. You are the mental patients who are well enough for them to use as "peer leaders", meaning you're the leaders of your peers , the very disabled people with mental illness that they're trying to profit off through Medicaid. You're in much worse shape than they even think IF YOU CAN'T SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING AROUND YOU DAILY OVER THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS. In a way many of us feel bad for you since your abusive behavior is the result of manipulation by the mhmr executives in the hot seats right now. Still, mental illness is not an excuse for nasty words and destructive actions.
By Hulen Tower Pros on Comment Problems & A Tiny Pool Table at the Former... on 4/30/11
That letter right there shows the lack of feeling this dude has for the people who are sick with brain diseases. They are just numbers, "phases", and the means to building his own power as the big fish in the little pond that is Tarrant county. The women executives shown scampering around like trapped mice on the news report couldn't share the message with the consumer because we heard they were too busy going through Theresa's office and personal items. And the Clients Rights guy was too busy coaching the BRAVO people on the mhmr-tc way. I'm glad my son now goes to JPS for his psych treatment because these people just cannot be trusted to do even basic tasks properly. After all this, I want to know why are they still there? I would have gone to their Trustees meeting to ask but those people are in withn the gang that can't shoot straight.
By Dan the dad on A Harris County Advocate Weighs In On The Removal ... on 4/30/11
Many of us MHMR-TC employees are anxiously waiting to see the legal attacks from the Paradise Center group and Teresa Davis because it looks like that will be the final push needed to clean house inside MHMR-TC. Sadly for us minorities, it looks like the legal route is necessary since there's no political will or moral backbone in this community. However things turn out, the courageous resistance to tyranny by Teresa and Paradise gave many hope and weakened the superficial perception of power that this crooked CEO had promoted, with precious tax dollars and public trust. Actually there's some whispering that BRAVO Health might take the lead in forcing the dishonest CEO and his incompetent cronies out since these people have cost the corporation millions of dollars and precious PR points.
By Kevin on A Harris County Advocate Weighs In On The Removal ... on 4/29/11
One organization that has flown under the radar in this abuse of mental health consumers is the Mental Health Association (MHA) of Tarrant county. This organization is a chapter of the national Mental Health America. They. have a lot of money and political. connections. Not unlike the McDermott mhmr agency. Why has this mental health consumer advocacy organization kept silent as the wholely consumer-run organization Paradise Center was bullied and abused by the McDermottites? We venture to guess that it is probably infected by McDermottitis as well.
By scandal watchers on A Harris County Advocate Weighs In On The Removal ... on 4/29/11
Jim McDermott and his puppets in the form of NAMI-TC have been caught in a major lie. What else have these people not told the truth about?
By Anonymous on A Harris County Advocate Weighs In On The Removal ... on 4/29/11
Friends in the Tarrant county area just told us that Melissa Gibbons is busy working on getting her 25% bonus money for helping with the NAMI Walks fundraiser six months down the road. She's offering some gimmicky tote bag to get people to sign up early as "captains". We guess she's trying to justify her twenty hours per week AT $20/hour. Now that's monetizing off a good volunteer cause. We've organized major events for church, scouts, and PTA over the years but never considered getting paid for something we would do as volunteers. Especially not at around 300% of minimum wage, which would be what mental health consumers would get paid if they're able to go to work. It's ironic because all the money switching accounts between MHMR-TC+BRAVO and NAMI-TC don't really benefit the people suffering from mental illness at all. At least BRAVO Health doesn't try to pass itself off as anything more than a profit-driven organization. Honesty is what's in short supply down your way, not money or government funding.
By Anonymous on A Harris County Advocate Weighs In On The Removal ... on 4/29/11