Allegations that Timpanogos Community Mental Health Center officials have misused what may total more than $1 million in public funds prompted a vow from Utah County commissioners Wednesday to "clean house" at the private corporation.
Timp Mental Health's five-member management team and two program directors were suspended Tuesday by the center's board of directors after the allegations surfaced. An audit of the center by county auditors and a legislative auditor general's office auditing team is expected to be completed next week.
Commissioner Gary Anderson, chairman of the three-member Timp Mental Health board, said a criminal investigation so far has not been ordered. Attorney General David Wilkinson and Utah County Attorney Steve Killpack, however, were scheduled to discuss the matter Thursday.
"The whole situation is obscene that something like that could even happen," Commission Chairman Malcolm Beck said. He said the practice under investigation apparently has been going on for at least eight years and it should have been brought to light by previous audits.
"They've got to clean house . . . and I guarantee one thing, it will be cleaned up now," he said. If auditors substantiate allegations, Beck said, he would support the firing of all involved.
Officials suspended with pay, pending the audit's outcome, are Timp Mental Health Director Glen Brown, finance director Craig Stevens, youth program director Carl Smith, clinical director Richard Spencer and program directors Alan Fife, Jim Schwartz and Derek Timms.
According to officials, the allegations center on siphoning of administrative fees from state contracts. Unconfirmed reports set that amount at more than $1 million over eight years.
"I haven't seen the report . . . but if the amounts are anywhere near to being accurate to what I've heard, I would strongly recommend that they immediately bring in the state attorney general's office," Commissioner Brent Morris said. He said some Timp Mental Health officials may have made as much as $100,000 each over the past eight years.
Timp Mental Health is a private provider that contracts with governmental entities. About 80 percent of its funds come from state contracts.
Auditors began looking into the allegations more than a week ago. The Timp Mental Health board of directors is scheduled to meet Tuesday and take further action following release of audit results.