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Detroit-Wayne Mental Health Authority tries again to get a new CEO on board

Oakland CMH

The head of Oakland County's mental health authority could become the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority's next CEO after all.

Michigan Radio has learned that Willie Brooks, who withdrew from contract talks with DWMHA in October, is again one of the candidates being considered to lead the agency.

Earlier this month, the mental health authority's second choice, Integrated Care Alliance CEO Joy Calloway, withdrew from contract talks. That was after Wayne County Executive Warren Evans raised questions about a conflict of interest. Calloway's agency is a subcontractor with DWMHA, and ICA had significantly overbilled the authority before she became a candidate for the CEO job. 

The mental health authority's board chose not to pursue full repayment.

Alexis Wiley, chief of staff to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (who chooses six members of the board of directors of DWMHA, issued this statement:

We understand the Board is reviewing CEO candidates and are very pleased that Mr. Brooks is one of them. He's an outstanding candidate who would do a great job leading our Mental Health Authority. We have full faith that at the end of the day, the Board will have hired the best candidate and that the individuals in our community who depend on the services the authority provides will be well served by that choice.

Depending on when the board chooses its next CEO, he or she could have to deal with a major issue right away. The state Office of Inspector General will be conducting an on-site certification review of DWMHA in January to look into allegations of financial mismanagement, conflicts of interest among board members, and other issues.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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