Plagued by debt and evidence that its top executive used agency money to pay off personal bills, one of St. Louis’s oldest and best-known drug-rehab programs will close today, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation and Treatment (DART) will stop methadone treatment to about 250 Missouri clients. Treatment will continue Monday under a newly formed nonprofit group called Center for Life Solutions consisting largely of DART employees.
The first public signal that DART was in trouble came in August, when the Post-Dispatch reported that agency officials acknowledged debts of nearly $400,000, including money owed to landlords, laboratories, and the Internal Revenue Service. The actual figure may have been as much as $850,000. The agency’s executive director, Darryl Grimes, said the red ink was the result of higher treatment costs, rising liability insurance premiums, and escalating employee health insurance costs. About three weeks later, a state audit reported that Grimes had used agency money to pay off a series of what appeared to be personal bills, including the cost of a computer dating service, golf fees and accessories, clothing, electronic items, dry cleaning, and restaurant meals.