Local and Community News
Dallas: AIDS Agency Loses Contract With County
March 3, 2003
Dallas County is terminating, effective March 1, a $1.1 million contract with Johnnie's Manor, a South Dallas agency that provides housing, transportation and other services for people with HIV/AIDS, county officials said Friday. Betty Culbreath-Lister, director of the county's Health and Human Services Department, said the county decided to sever the contract after questioning the 11-year-old agency's change of executive directors. JM is one of a handful of AIDS services situated in South Dallas, where the disease is hitting the black community hard.Adapted from:
Helen Spicer, JM's recently ousted executive director, said she was forced out of the job during a meeting of seven people, not all of whom were board members, she believes. The county later could find no proof that some of them were ever appointed to the 21-member board, said Culbreath-Lister.
Lavette Dudley, the agency's former program director and the daughter of former Dallas County Councilmember Al Lipscomb, was appointed by the board to replace Spicer. Dudley could not be reached for comment. Lipscomb said he serves on JM's board and attended the meeting last month at which his daughter was appointed, but abstained from voting on the issue. He declined to explain what happened at the meeting. Both Culbreath-Lister and Spicer questioned whether Lipscomb had been appointed to the board.
JM's Ryan White housing funds totaled $1,065,616 last year, and it was expected to receive a similar amount this year. "None of our audits have found problems with the programs or spending at Johnnie's Manor," said Culbreath-Lister. "But we have a responsibility to know who is running this agency before we give them any more funds." Meanwhile, Culbreath-Lister said, the county will attempt to pay some of the agency's bills directly, to maintain basic housing for some 20 residents with AIDS. Other services are being assigned to other AIDS agencies, she said.
Dallas Morning News
03.01.03; Sherry Jacobson
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.