CHICAGO (CBS) — The head of a huge Chicago mental health agency will be stepping down at the end of the month. It’s the same nonprofit the Morning Insiders investigated several times earlier in the year after allegations of late paychecks, missing benefits and financial mismanagement.
Community Counseling Centers of Chicago is one of the city’s largest and oldest mental health agencies. Several clinicians resigned in the past year after problems getting paid.
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Nicolette Rivera sent a frustrated letter to the board members at C4, as it is known.
“So I ask you, where is the outrage?” she said.
Some of those former C4 employees blasted another email to the board on the same day. They cited “a series of investigations by CBS 2,” including our report on how “employees lost all their benefits.”
No on responded.
Two and a half weeks later Rivera was let go.
“When I asked on what grounds, they just said it wasn’t working out,” she said. “I feel like it was a way to be like, ‘She’s making too much noise.’”
Rivera also spoke with CBS 2 in January. Since that aired payroll came late at least three more times. More and more employees sent us complaints as well as that letter to the board.
Now Pat Nichols just began his new role as interim CEO for C4.
“It’s really kind of a new chapter,” he said.
His predecessor Chris Carroll was just voted out.
When asked about how previous leadership handled things Nichols said, “I don’t know very much about that.”
“What I”m going to do primarily is not promise but listen,” he said. “I want to hear what they’re concerned about, where their worries are.”
The new boss wasn’t sure about other new hires but did say the aftermath of the virus and George Floyd’s death will likely lead to an increase in appointments for clinicians. But what can Nichols say to make sure they will be paid on time?
“We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure we don’t have slips of that sort,” he said.
He said that means fully analyzing C4’s billing process.
“There is an urgent need for something to be done,” Rivera said in her letter.
Nichols could not comment on her termination, but she is at peace.
“I think that is obviously the beginning of changing the administration and changing the way the company runs, which I think is a good thing,” she said.
C4’s outgoing CEO did not response to CBS 2’s request for an interview.
The interim leader will be transition to Chicago soon and promised he would sit down for a check-in on C4 in three months.