Indiana AIDS Organization May Close After Losing State Funding Following Theft, Mismanagement Allegations
The AIDS Task Force of Southeast Central Indiana may be forced to close next month after state health officials decided not to renew more than $230,000 in grants because of allegations of theft and fund mismanagement in the organization, the AP/TheIndyChannel.com reports. The Richmond Police Department last month launched an investigation into the organization -- which provides counseling, education and care coordination to 67 clients in east-central and southeast Indiana -- after receiving a complaint about missing or misappropriated funds shortly after the organization's executive director and half of its board of directors resigned. The police ended its investigation on Friday after detectives failed to find evidence of criminal activities, according to Sgt. Brad Berner. Despite the suspended investigation, the Indiana State Department of Health still plans to discontinue the task force's $90,000 care coordination grant and its $142,500 counseling, testing and education grant, which together account for more than two-thirds of the organization's annual budget. "We just didn't have the confidence that the agency was going to deliver the services they were to provide in a manner that was consistent with our contractual agreement," Michael Butler, director of the state health department's HIV/STD Division, said. However, Otis Broglin, president of the organization's board of directors, said that the group plans to "keep digging up funds to take care of our patients" and may ask state officials to investigate the misappropriation allegations (AP/TheIndyChannel.com, 5/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.