Three CMHSAS board members dismissed

Three members of the Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Board of St. Joseph County were removed Tuesday by the county commission.

Board president Barb Parker, and members Larry Walton and Gaylene Adams were cut from the 12-member panel after a 3-1 vote. Board president John Dobberteen abstained and Robin Baker cast the dissenting vote.

There was no discussion as the vote was taken, but the action follows months of friction between county commissioners and the CMH board as well as the agency’s executive director, Liz O’Dell.

The breaking point occurred earlier this summer when a letter signed by Parker indicated the CMH would not cooperate in an efficiency study by a Maryland-based firm hired by the county commission.

Parker, a member since 1996, said she has been targeted by Dobberteen after the CMHSAS board last month voted to dissolve the board that oversaw the Federally Qualified Health Center, a health clinic run under the same roof as CMHSAS in Centreville.

The move resulted in the dismissal of Lynn Dobberteen, executive director of the St. Joseph County Health Center and John Dobberteen’s wife.

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