In the past month, the top three leaders at the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority have submitted letters of resignation. The shake up comes at a time when the organization, which manages funds for mental health and substance abuse programming across the state, is undergoing a special legislative audit over concerns about financial mismanagement.Listen nowInterim CEO Greg Jones was appointed in November to lead the organization after long-time CEO Jeff Jessee was ousted. Jones declined a request for an interview, but in his resignation letter he wrote his action “comes at the request of my family and recommendation of friends.” Chief Operating Officer Steve Williams will be acting CEO as of September 1. The Trust started seeking a permanent CEO in July.John Morrison, the Executive Director of the Trust Land Office, has also resigned and will leave his job in September. Morrison, at the direction of the Board, helped the TLO pursue a controversial strategy of investing in commercial real estate as a way to increase income for the Trust. Deputy director Wyn Menefee will begin as acting executive director on September 8.Board Chair Russ Webb will also leave his position in September. The Trust Authority has started recruiting for his replacement.A special legislative audit of the Trust was authorized in December after allegations the Board “is not managing its assets in compliance with state and federal law,” the audit request says.In an email, Legislative Auditor Kris Curtis wrote, “The audit is through the planning phase and beginning fieldwork. We hope to have it completed some time in November.”
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “You know how many calls I got on the budget this year?” he asked. “I’ll give you a hint. It was less than one.” Instead, “everyone is more concerned about spaying and neutering their dog,” he said. “People don’t get passionate about things that do matter. They freak out about things that don’t matter.” As a consequence it’s difficult to make what Adams calls the tough decisions on making budget cuts. And when Republicans refuse to vote for a budget because they think it doesn’t have enough cuts, there’s not much support. Editor’s note: It’s Politics reports Saturdays on the ins and outs of Whittier-area politics and city government. Californians care more about their dogs than they do about the state budget, said Assemblyman Anthony Adams in a speech Friday. How does Adams, R-Claremont, know? Last summer, his office received thousands of calls, letters and e-mails in protest, support and with questions over legislation that would have made it mandatory to spay and neuter dogs before they were 6 months old. It doesn’t help that newspapers run stories and pictures of people losing services, he said. “The blind, the disabled, homeless and people who will lose service are front-page news,” he said. “The newspapers love that stuff because it has every single quality of what makes good news. It’s timely. It’s got real substance and people who are being harmed.” That doesn’t mean newspapers don’t support his stance on the budget, he said. “On page seven in the editorial section, you’ve got some local editor saying, `You’re doing the right thing Anthony.’ You know what? The vast majority don’t go into the B section. What they see is Republicans destroying the blind, the aged and poor.” But with California facing a projected $10 billion budget shortfall, it may be time for people to take an interest in the budget, he said. “You have to get people to understand what the budget is and why it’s important,” he said. FOSTER CARE LAW: Adams also touted his AB 1462 that he said helped children and eliminated a bad law. The law allows counties to place foster children with severe behavioral and/or medical problems in for-profit facilities when there are no nonprofit facilities available. “We had this idea for many years that it is somehow evil to be a for-profit institution,” he said. “What was happening was that we had children, who were severely disabled, who couldn’t be placed in homes because the only ones which had the capacity to treat them are for profit,” he said. PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: Representatives of all eight Democratic presidential candidates are expected to speak at the 7 p.m. Monday meeting of the Hubert Humphrey Democratic Club at Coco’s restaurant, 11510 South St., Cerritos. For information, call Charlie Ara, (562) 865-4075. FIRST DEBATE: Chino Hills Councilman Curt Hagman and Orange County water director Larry Dick – candidates for the 60th Assembly District Republican nomination – will square off in a 6:30 p.m. Nov. 29 forum. It will be held by the Orange-Villa Park California Republican Assembly in the Orange City Hall council chambers, 300 E. Chapman Ave. For information, call Deborah Pauly, (714) 394-8400. Mail items for It’s Politics to the Whittier Daily News, P.O. Box 581, Whittier, CA 90608; fax (562) 698-0450; phone (562) 698-0955; or e-mail email@example.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!