Tim Young must resign as CEO of Open Health Care Clinic/HAART

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Tim Young, CEO of Open Health Care Clinic (OHCC) and HAART (HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two, Inc), has lost the faith of the community that he claims to serve. We implore the HAART/OHCC Board of Directors to take these allegations seriously and demand Mr. Young's immediate resignation.

 HAART/Open Health Care Clinic Board Members:
Chris Oetjens, Chair - Oetjens Law Firm, APLC
Robert Scott White, Vice Chair - Louisiana Hospital Association
Cody King, Secretary - Capitol Spine & Rehab
Billy Dudley, Treasurer - Proteovec, Inc.
Cassandra Whitty - State Farm
Pamala Ellis - Woman's Hospital
Sherry Lassere - Office of the Governor
Michael Rice - Retired

Illegal Kickback Scheme:
On April 24, allegations were brought to the Board of Directors of OHCC/HAART that Mr. Young had attempted illegal acts by unethically misleading the Board of Directors that a "kickback" scheme was appropriate on a multi-million dollar donation from the Estate of Angelina Wilson, likely netting him somewhere over $200,000 meant for care for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Mr. Young lied to his board of directors that he did not know the donation existed at the time he proposed his kickback scheme in Feb 2017. The opposite is true: Mr. Young was informed by Angelina Wilson's Estate in late 2016, according to the executor of the estate.

Mr. Young previously criticized the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) regarding their $115,000 media buy. Citing from The Advocate:
Open Health Care Clinic CEO Tim Young listed the ways in which his organization could use $115,000* to treat those with HIV. The money could translate into 2,400 people being tested for HIV or 3,000 having visits with a medical provider.

(*Remember that Mr. Young's kickback scheme would amount to anywhere between $200,000 and $400,000 -- roughly translating to 7000 people being tested for HIV or 8000 doctor appointments for people living with HIV/AIDS.)

Almost the entirety of Mr. Young's executive staff resigned because they had no confidence in the Board of Directors' ability to ethically investigate the behavior and safeguard the reputation and credibility of the agency, according to their statements in the Advocate.

Edward Doomes, Compliance Chair of the Board of Directors, also resigned the same day as the top leadership. Mr. Doomes said Young and board Chairman Chris Oetjens “worked in tandem to hide the disputed compensation agreements” from Kim Hood, the chief operating/compliance officer, until after the board agreed to them. And he said Oetjens “actively discouraged” him from contacting the hired investigator about compliance issues by insisting board members use a go-between for any concerns they wanted to bring to the investigating attorney.

Mr. Doomes was then labeled an 'unauthorized individual' by the board chair when discussing contact with the investigator. How is a board member tasked with compliance unauthorized from communicating or giving directives to a compliance investigator? It sounds like Mr. Board Chair is talking us in circles!

Mr. Young's explicit unethical and illegal behavior is not who we want representing healthcare, HIV/AIDS organizations, or Baton Rouge. Our city has enough problems without another "powerful" person thinking he is above the rules.

Allegations of Undue Influence on the Mayor's Office/Funding:
Mr. Young alleged, on tape, that he has undue influence over the mayor's office. Mr. Young's acknowledgment is genuinely shocking in light of the current evidence of Mr. Young's unscrupulous stewardship of his agency's resources. Mr. Young stated that he purposely assured the oversight board of a federal program was dysfunctional. It just so happens that his agency also receives funding from this federal program.

Let's trust the man himself on this one:
I decided on the front end that it was going to be dysfunctional.
I knew that I was going to be able to have a whole lot more influence with the mayor’s office than I was going to have with whoever happened to show up around that table.

Again, let us remember, this is purposefully creating dysfunction in a federally funded program that is supposed to serve the HIV epidemic in Baton Rouge. In case Mr. Young was not aware, we are ranked #1 in the prevalence of both new HIV and AIDS cases.

This lack of leadership by Mr. Young is part of his history. Mr. Young formerly provided the fiscal agent service to the New Orleans Regional AIDS Planning Council (NORAPC) before the contract was terminated by NORAPC. The chairperson for NORAPC recetly told The Advocate that the contract was canceled with Mr. Young and HAART due to 'concerns with leadership.' The chair went on to say that the reason for the establishment of Planning Councils in New Orleans (opposed to an Advisory Council in Baton Rouge) is to avoid political favoritism like Mr. Young alleges to have with the Mayor's office. 

Mr. Young is not the man we should have leading the second largest HIV/AIDS service organization and a clinic that also serves roughly 6000 Baton Rouge residents.

Illegally Threatening/attempted Firing of an Employee:
On the same tape that Mr. Young alleged to have undue influence over the Mayor's Office, Mr. Young commits a criminal act by attempting to force his employee to resign from a political appointment (membership of the Ryan White board). He violated his employee's rights, and he broke the law.

Louisiana Revised Statutes § 23:961:

  • Except as otherwise provided in R.S. 23:962, no employer having regularly in his employ twenty or more employees shall make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy forbidding or preventing any of his employees from engaging or participating in politics, or from becoming a candidate for public office. No such employer shall adopt or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy which will control, direct, or tend to control or direct the political activities or affiliations of his employees, nor coerce or influence, or attempt to coerce or influence any of his employees by means of threats of discharge or of loss of employment in case such employees should support or become affiliated with any particular political faction or organization, or participate in political activities of any nature or character.
  • Any individual person violating the provisions of this Section shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both; and any firm, corporation or association violating the provisions of this Section shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than two thousand dollars.

Mr. Young shows not only his disregard for the law but also for his employees. He’s not only unethical. He didn’t just break the law. It’s a clear disregard for the people who he is supposed to be serving: his community.

A Note to the Family of Angelina Wilson from the Community of Baton Rouge:
Your family has been infinitely generous to the Baton Rouge community. We hate to see Angelina's legacy and generosity defamed by Mr. Young's actions. Please know that there are many children, families, men, women, communities, and organizations that wouldn't be able to do the amazing work they do today without your family's help. Thanks for being continuing advocates for the potential of this city. 

Sources:
The Advocate: Major donor never knew Baton Rouge HIV nonprofit CEO could get a cut of donation for AIDS patients
The Advocate: AIDS Healthcare Foundation spending $115,000 on ad campaign blasting Mayor Broome for cutting funds
Poz.com: Can the CEO of an HIV Nonprofit Earn “Finder’s Fees” for Donations?
Non-Profit Quarterly: Nonprofit Criticized for Authorizing CEO to Take Cut of Large Donations
The Advocate: Four top employees resign from Baton Rouge HIV nonprofit after expressing more concerns about CEO
The Advocate: Questions raised about Baton Rouge HIV nonprofit leader requesting 'finder's fee' for donations
LA Rev Stat § 23:961
Louisiana Ryan White Health Insurance Program (HIP)
James Gill: Baton Rouge's AIDS patients deserve better than city clinic's response to controversy
The Advocate: Setting the Record Straight on Ethical HIV Care (Letter by Chair of NORAPC)



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