BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) – The CEO of Summit Pointe has been placed on administrative leave but Thursday dozens of supporters came to his defense.
Erv Brinker was placed on paid administrative leave by the Calhoun County Community Health Authority after allegations arose of “compliance issues, financial irregularities and potential conflicts of interest” at the Battle Creek mental health care provider.
Brinker has been head of Summit Pointe since 1990 and his supporters are not buying the allegations against him.
“You as a board are destroying the good that he has done. I think you should all resign and lets start over,” a Brinker support said.
On Thursday, about 50 people filled the board room at Summit Pointe – many of them were there to support Brinker.
“He is an honest, straightforward person and I have watched his leadership development here at Summit and the things he’s done and as you said, I think you have an amazing leader,” another supporter said.
Brinker was placed on administrative leave in December, as the board launched investigation into allegations of conflicts of interest in regards to contracts. It’s alleged he gave contracts to friends and businesses he has links to.
“The more we learn, the more issues and concerns are raised,” Summit Pointe Board of Directors Trae Allman said.
Brinker is also accused of acting without board authority in handling the agency’s pension plan.
“We are not surprised that Mr. Brinker so vigorously defended his actions. We are confident, however, that the finds we have been reviewing will leave no doubt our actions have been and will be appropriate and based on facts and evidence and not on media statements,” Allman said.
The board has not released those findings, and supporters of Brinker question the value of moving ahead.
“It is not too late to get this right. And right and not more dollars down a rat hole to pursue something that is not worth pursuing,” a Brinker supporter told the board.
News 8 called Brinker’s attorney for comment, but we have not heard back yet.