City Demands Jamaica Drug and Alcohol Rehab Program Return $300K

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska on August 25, 2014 7:16am 

 The city is taking New Spirit, a Jamaica nonprofit, to court in an effort to get back nearly $300,000.
The city is taking New Spirit, a Jamaica nonprofit, to court in an effort to get back nearly $300,000.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

QUEENS — The city is trying to get nearly $300,000 back from a Jamaica substance abuse center, which officials say may have misused the funds, according to court documents.

According to the complaint, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Aug. 8, New Spirit II signed a contract with the Department of Health in July 2008 and “received funding to deliver medically supervised outpatient services for the treatment of alcohol and chemical dependency between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009.”

After an audit was conducted in November 2011, the city demanded the nonprofit, on South Road and Guy R. Brewer Boulevard, return the $285,866, which the group failed to do, according to the document.

"This lawsuit is a routine action brought against an agency that failed to live up to its contract with the city," lawyer Alan Kleinman of the city's Law Department said in an email.

Kleinman declined to say where New Spirit II spent the money.

The center, which was founded in 1995 and serves about 100 outpatient clients at a time, is part of J-CAP, a large network of alcohol and substance abuse treatment programs.

J-CAP was co-founded by the late Thomas White Jr., a city councilman who represented Jamaica and South Jamaica from 1992 to 2001 and from 2006 to 2010, when he died.

J-CAP came under scrutiny recently after a boss there allegedly used staff members to do personal work at his homes on the Upper East Side and the Hamptons, according to the New York Post.

Nancy Brinn, chief operating officer at J-CAP, declined to discuss the legal action.

“This Notice is now in the hands of our Attorney who is reviewing it," Brinn wrote in an email. "He will respond as required by law.”

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