The suspended clinical director of Timpanogos Community Mental Health Center - hired back last week to work on an hourly basis - will be allowed to work at the center but without pay, the Timp Mental Health Authority Board announced Monday.
Dr. Richard Spencer was suspended April 13 along with seven other center administrators following allegations they mismanaged funds at the center.
Those officials were suspended with pay for 17 days, but as of Saturday were suspended without pay pending their termination, Utah County Commissioner Gary Anderson said.
Spencer, the only psychiatrist at the center, must wait for his formal hearing Wednesday to find out whether he will be reinstated as a center employee.
But regardless of his status, Spencer's wife said, "Hell be there tomorrow."
In an informal hearing Friday, Spencer presented his side of the story to the interim management team, which includes interim director David Dangerfield; Robert Warburton, Salt Lake Valley Mental Health Center clinical director; Don Muller of the Utah Division of Mental Health; and Dave Lambert, acting attorney for Timp Mental Health.
Facts gathered Friday and from the audit report released last month were presented to the authority board Monday. But board members - the county commissioners from Utah, Wasatch and Summit counties - will not make a decision on Spencer until Wednesday. Anderson said state procedures demand the board wait five days before holding a formal hearing.
Of the eight administrators, only two have requested a hearing to be reinstated at the center - Spencer and Program Director Jim Schwartz. Three have resigned - Executive Director Glen Brown, Finance Director Craig Stevens and Youth Program Director Carl Smith.
At the meeting Monday, the board approved a nunber of recommendations made by Dangerfield. Since taking over as interim director a week ago, he has assessed problems with organization and structure, personnel policies, fiscal policies and problems in the clinical area at Timp Mental Health.
Dangerfield presented the board with the 25-page report, saying, "There really needs to be a tightening up in a lot of those policies."
He suggested the center do away with all contracts and instead establish salaried merit positions.
Dangerfield also expressed concern about the staffing shortage and suggested the board begin recruiting. He recommended that the board find out what must be done to upgrade facilities and equipment.
The interim director said a lack of ongoing executive meetings has closed communication channels in management and suggested that executive committee meetings be held weekly.
He said that in the past decisions were made on a one-to-one basis with no record of the actions taken. Dangerfield recommended that the board approve all contracts for services and goods provided at the center.
The board approved Dangerfield's recommendation that Dan England of the Utah Division of Mental Health act as administrative services director to restructure supervisory lines.
The board also approved Dangerfield's recommendation to promote Bobby Pillar, program director of day services at Timp Mental Health, on an acting basis to take the place of suspended administrator Derek Timms.
"There is a lack of clarity of the legal structure," he said, pointing out that the board must clarify whether the center is a state- or county-contracted facility. "It leaves management unclear as to what should go on. The question of status has left some gaps in the policy."
The board also decided to suspend all lease contracts with employees who own property and put the payments into an escrow account. Dangerfield also recommended that the board have no leases with any Timp employee or ohters who pose a conflict of interest.