Gov. Edward B. Calvo has asked the U.S. District Court to return local control of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse and the Department of Integrated Services for Individuals with Disabilities which have been under federal receivership for almost two years.
In a brief submitted to the federal court on Feb. 10 Calvo also proposed the hiring of Dr. Thomas Barret a clinical professor from the University of Denver as a part-time consultant to DMHSA Director Wilfredo Aflague and DISID Director Benito Servino.
The federal court placed DMSHA and DISID under federal receivership in March 2010 and named James Casey and James Kiefer as federal managers tasked to oversee the two agencies’ compliance with the amended permanent injunction that resulted from a 1991 lawsuit.
Calvo said Aflague and Servino are both qualified to manage the operations of their respective agencies and fulfill the mandates of the amended permanent injunction “if given the same federal resources in place as were given to the [federal management team]”” and with technical assistance from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Casey resigned from the federal management team Jan. 20 prior to the governor’s call for his and Kiefer’s ouster. Kiefer on the other hand has asked the court to allow him to continue his term and implement the compliance plan.
In seeking the dismissal of the federal management team Calvo told the court that both Casey and Kiefer “”have failed to achieve any significant and substantial progress toward bringing DMHSA and DISID into compliance under the amended permanent injunction.””
“”In the event that [Kiefer] is relieved of his duties and the management returned to the directors SAMHSA will continue to provide technical assistance “” Calvo stated in the legal brief.
He said members of the SAMHSA team overseeing Guam programs have expressed support for his proposal to allow the directors to resume management of the two departments.
Calvo said if the court agrees to hire Barret his role should be limited to being a consultant to the department directors without the power and authority given to the federal management team.
The governor said Barret charges $250 per hour for consultancy services and has “”indicated willingness to come to Guam not on a permanent basis to assist DMHSA and DISID.””
According to his professional profile submitted to the court Barret has “”30 years of leadership in mental health administration and program evaluation.””
Barret has served in several mental health agencies and organizations. He was vice president of the Denver Mental Health Consortium from 1986 to 1988 assistant director of the Colorado Division of Mental Health from 1990 to 1994 senior medical officer of the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Department from 2004 to 2006 ; and senior mental health consultant for WHO from 2007 to 2008.