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Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority

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 The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority can't seem to seal the deal with a new CEO.

The state's largest such authority is responsible for a more than $700 million Medicaid budget to care for 80,000 people with mental illness, developmental disorders, and substance abuse disorders.  

The decision by two consecutive CEO choices to pull out of contract negotiations with the authority is bringing long-overdue attention to the way the authority spends its money and manages contracts.  

New Center Community Services

Joy Calloway has withdrawn from contract talks to lead the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority (DWMHA) as CEO.

The move came after Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, who appoints six members of the authority's board, wrote two letters to board chairman Herbert Smitherman asking that the offer to Calloway be rescinded, because of a conflict of interest.

Calloway is CEO of New Center Community Services, an agency that receives funds from the DWMHA.  An audit recently found that New Center may have overbilled DWMHA by nearly two million dollars.  But the board decided to settle the matter for $95,000, the amount found in a 5% sampling of New Center's claims.

Calloway wrote an impassioned letter to two members of the board on the search committee, in which she said she was retracting her acceptance because "it is abundantly clear that I am not the candidate the

Warren Evans on Instagram

  The state's largest mental health authority has selected Joy Calloway as its next CEO, but Wayne County Executive Warren Evans says the board should resolve a conflict of interest before hiring her.

The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority is currently in contract negotiations with Calloway. 

The authority has a budget of over $700 million, and cares for 80,000 people with mental health and substance abuse disorders and developmental disabilities in Detroit and Wayne County.