Mohave County supervisors renew contract despite several concerns
Kingman-based Mohave Mental Health Clinic, Inc. came under fire during last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
What should have been a matter-of-fact vote to renew the services of the mental health organization turned into a request to postpone the vote in order to explore other options. The request made by Supervisor Buster Johnson was based on concerns over performance and past billing issues.
“I don’t believe Mohave Mental Health is living up to their contract,” Johnson said. “I believe we could be subject to lawsuits.”
County staff said time was not on their side to consider other options. If the contract was allowed to expire on June 30, services could be interrupted.
Mohave Mental Health Clinic provides screening and evaluation for people in the county’s Indigent Defense Services system, which assigns attorneys to represent clients in legal proceedings based on the level of poverty as determined by the courts.
According to the county’s procurement department, the contract costs are variable, based on the number of screening and evaluations.
In 2014, the county spent $500,000 for Mohave Mental Health services, slightly more than $367,000 during the fiscal year 2015 and nearly $367,000 in 2016.
Based on past performance, and a court-ordered judgment to return several hundred thousand dollars in overpayments, Johnson questions the logic of renewing the contract even though the county has the option to terminate the agreement with a 30-day notice.
“We don’t have a real good track record with Mohave Mental Health,” Johnson said. “Maybe we could have a third party watch over it who knows what’s going on. We need to make sure the people who need the help receive it because it’s my understanding they are not ensuring people take their medication.”
Officials from Mohave Mental Health Clinic could not be reached for comment.