Audit: Mental health agency CEO misspent $19M


An audit has found that the former CEO of a community mental health agency in the region misspent more than $19 million on lavish benefits, parties and side projects.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services examined records from seven years Erv Brinker spent at Summit Pointe Community Mental Health in Battle Creek.

WWMT TV reports the audit found, for instance, that Brinker purchased psychic readings, a bobcat costume and amended employee benefit packages without board approval.

Brinker was fired from the agency in 2015. He pleaded guilty to embezzlement and Medicaid fraud in 2016 and was sentenced to more than 2.5 years in prison.

He was released last month.

The Battle Creek Enquirer reports state officials have ordered Summit Pointe repay almost $18 million.

The mental health provider plans to appeal some of the findings.

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