Second Coming -- UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Second Coming -- UPDATE

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2007 at 4:38 PM

It's about the money. So you had to know Ted Suhl, major domo of the Lord's Ranch, jet provider to governors, provider of tens of thousands in campaign contributions to members of the legislature, would not give up.

After years of writing his own ticket at DHS, after years of co-opting friendly court workers into pushing any and every kid possible into his $500-a-day racket up in the hills of North Arkansas,  you knew he wouldn't like getting outmaneuvered by Gov. Mike Beebe.

First Beebe beat bills that Suhl and other residential care providers of mental health services for kids had run through Sen. Shawn Womack. They wanted to set their own reimbursement rates and otherwise run their own private system -- with government money -- through bills that were never shown to state regulators. Then Beebe proposed legislation for a commission to study mental health care. We spend four times as much as Ohio, a much larger state, on residential treatment. Cheaper and more effective community treatment is the way to go in many cases. But Suhl likes to get the kids behind his fence and keep them and let the charges mount. His critics claim he runs a bounty system to get kids into his system. At a minimum, he has watchers in juvenile courts to recommend new clients because they are so valuable. We've been inundated with allegations of all sorts about Suhl's operation. He won't allow reporters to visit. He won't talk to the press. He won't talk to regulators either. But we remain hopeful that more will be told.

His next trip to the Capitol  is a big  dog-and-pony show (we haven't been invited, surprise) at which some black ministers are supposed to be ready to claim Wednesday  that community mental health treatment is NOT the way to go and a burden on black children. That locking kids up at a remote place that resists state DHS and Education Department inspection is the best course for the black kids -- never mind that they are ripe for exploitation because they are the forgotten and unfortunate who lack advocates and effective guardians when they arrive in juvenile court and thus don't get the option for community care. They are ready marks for sweeps by avaricious residential care facilities.

(UPDATE: Our source says this lobbying event has been cancelled. Did our early warning have an impact?) 

Who's on these facilities' payroll? How does this system work? Why did the state start slow-walking inspections of Suhl during the Huckabee era? Why were auditors discouraged from vigorously reviewing Suhl, as they reviewed others? Are people, preachers maybe, paid for referrals to his system? These are just some of the questions we'd like answered thoroughly and openly.

Also, what's the latest lobby count for people on the Suhl payroll?

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Al Gore remembers Dale Bumpers

    Former Vice President Al Gore, a former U.S. Senate colleague of Dale Bumpers, sent a statement on Bumpers' death Friday:
    • Jan 3, 2016
  • Two plead in fraud of sheriff's office

    A former employee of the Pulaski County sheriff and a North Little Rock woman who sold goods to the sheriff's office have pleaded guilty to mail fraud in a scheme to steal from the sheriff's office, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office.
    • May 16, 2017
  • In Little Rock, Marco Rubio sells American exceptionalism

    This is Rubio's axiomatic answer to Donald Trump's insistence that he and he alone will Make America Great Again: America is the greatest, always has been.
    • Feb 22, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation