Audit: Summit Pointe misspending included bobcat costume

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Calhoun County’s community mental health agency must pay back most of the more than $19 million state auditors say was misspent.

Auditors last week released their final report about Summit Pointe Community Mental Health Authority’s conduct from Oct. 1, 2007 to Sept. 30, 2014.

>>PDF: Summit Pointe final audit report

Auditors combed through Summit Pointe’s financial records from 2008 to 2012 and found money spent on a pension plan for top executives that was never approved by the board, as well as lavish trips, a surprise party for someone who didn’t work there, a book club and an $838 bobcat costume.

In 2015, Summit Pointe’s board of directors took action, firing CEO Erv Brinker for variety of inappropriate expenses.

Brinker was also charged by the attorney general’s office with embezzling more than $500,000, which he sent to a Florida palm reader. Brinker took a plea deal in November 2015 and was released from prison last month, after serving slightly longer than 2.5 years.

Summit Pointe has a new CEO, and the group tells state officials they have made several changes over the past two years to safeguard against improper spending.

Summit Pointe expects to finish the final part of the plan — taking inventory of its assets — by Dec. 31.

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