CEO of Bond Community Health Center Arrested, Now on Paid Leave

By: Eyewitness News; Lanetra Bennett Email
By: Eyewitness News; Lanetra Bennett Email

Updated by Lanetra Bennett - May 8, 2012 - 6:17pm

The head of the Bond Community Health Center is in trouble with the law and on leave from his job.

C.E.O. Junior Richards was arrested for DUI.

Reports show that Junior Richards has a previous DUI arrest in Atlanta, Georgia.

He was arrested in Tallahassee this past weekend. Police say the CEO of Bond Community Health Center was leaving a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

The C.E.O. of Bond Health Community Health Center in Tallahassee is on paid administrative leave after being arrested for D.U.I.

Tallahassee Police say around 11:40 Saturday night, Junior Richards hit a car, causing it to crash into another car.

Police say it happened at East Park Avenue and Magnolia Drive.

Richards' attorney Ian Nesbeth says, "Based on the limited amount of evidence that we have now, we believe it's a very defensible case."

An officer on scene says Richard's "eyes were glassy, bloodshot, and watery," and the officer says they could smell alcohol coming from Richards' car, which was a convertible with the top down.

The officer says Richards said in a slurred manner, "I'm not drunk." But, the officer says Richards could not keep his balance during the field sobriety test.

The report says Richards ended up saying, "Just arrest me. I'll just go to jail tonight."

Eyewitness News was there last month when Bond celebrated the opening of its mobile unit.

Administrators say it's just one of the many things they've accomplished under Richards' leadership.

Administrators say service will not be interrupted at the center.

Debra Weeks, M.S.W., Bond Chief Administrative Officer, says, "We continue to do good work on behalf of this community and every single person that arrives at the center. We're very, very proud of our clinical team and the quality of care that we deliver here."

People like Tallahassee resident Jannice Gardner say they are grateful for Bond.

Gardner says the center's Smile Connection program has helped her family tremendously. She says, "It's just really been a blessing to me and my family. They've always got a smile on their faces, they're always very polite. They go above and beyond."

The arrest report says Richards tried to leave the scene.

He was arrested in 2009 for leaving the scene of a crash at Wahnish Way and Osceola Street in Tallahassee.

The Chief Administrative Officer is now the CEO in the interim.

See below for the official statement from Joseph L. Webster, Sr., M.D., M.B.A., Chairman of the Board of Directors for Bond Community Health Center.

_________________________________________

Tallahassee, Florida - May 8, 2012 - 1:30pm

Full probable cause can be found in PDF format above


PRESS RELEASE
8 May 2012
Bond Community Health Center
1720 South Gadsden Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301

The Board of Directors at Bond Community Health Center (CHC), Inc. has been placed on administrative leave with pay indefinitely its CEO, Mr. JR. Richards pending further investigation of matter that transpired this weekend. The decision is effective immediately. Fortunately Bond has a very capable clinical and administrative staff and the Board wants all of our stakeholders to know that clinical services will go on without interruption. The Board wishes to further inform that the matters in question have noting to do with clinical operations and our contracted services and clinical outreach programs will remain in effect in full force.

Because of the Board of Directors deep respect for your trust and our responsibility to you as stewards of your charitable support, we feel obligated to take this action at this time. Until the Board completes its thorough review of all relevant matters surrounding the events referenced above, day-to-day operations will be conducted by our clinical and administrative support team, with external consultation as needed.

All further inquiries should be directed to the Chairman of the Board.

____________________________

Tallahassee, Florida - May 8, 2012 -

Junior R. Richards, CEO of the Bond Community Health Center, was arrested and charged for DUI and damaging property, according to the Leon County Booking Report for May 6th.

Junior R. Richards' most recent arrest indicates that this is his second DUI offense, but in the 2009 charges, Richards entered a plea to Hit-and-Run and Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Injuries.

Junior Richards is being represented by attorney Ian Nesbeth. Nesbeth said they intend to vigorously fight the charges. He also points out the many good things Richards is doing at Bond Clinic, including the new mobile health unit and the stand alone clinic at the Joe Louis Street housing projects.

Stay with Eyewitness News for much more on this story.


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  • by QUESTIONABLE Location: TALLAHASSEE on Jun 12, 2012 at 06:47 AM
    JR has done a good job during my tenure their, i just feel like if he is on PAL (paid administrative leave), then those before him or after him should have the same treatment, i won't take anything from him, he has done a beautiful job , he is understanding and he beleives in fairness, I don't agree with the CAO they hired thats the hypocrite, that demon is proberly laughing her way to the bank hoping he does not get his job back. I pray JR does because he has made a difference,We all make mistakes, and Bond does help a lot of people, lets just for once stick together and give him another chance, ya'll need to be booting out the CAO that demon, it is amazing when some people get into troble they want to fire them, but they knew about their past record , when things happend not for the good she will find a way to get rid of you, sometimes JR does not know anything about it and then again she has put some mess in the game to make sure you don't get hired again. (she is the Devils advocate)
  • by Concerned on May 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM
    I am getting this right? Richards is on indifinate paid administrative leave,so if this takes months to get cleared up and investigated does he just continue on his little vacation at the expense of others. Bond is already struggling financially, do they really have the funds to have a man on paid leave becaue of something that HE did? I think not...the board should have made a better decision and if they were going to place him on leave, at least not pay him for it!
  • by Jade Purple Location: Tally on May 10, 2012 at 10:37 AM
    Paid Leave? Is it his leave he is using or administrative leave. If the man had leave to keep his paycheck coming then he is using his own accrued leave. Let the man go to Rehab and be monitored closely if he did a decent job as CEO. He will only continue to spiral if he loses his job, but then maybe that is what he needs to recognize his 'bottoming out' on alcohol addicition.
  • by daniel Location: tallahassee on May 10, 2012 at 09:28 AM
    The details on Mr. Richards arrest history are shaky, therefore I cannot formulate an opinion. All I know is he was arrested in 2000, again in 2002 for an unrelated moving violation, and 10 years after that in 2012. It’s not habitual from the information I’ve read.
    • reply
      by Wrong DANIEL on May 10, 2012 at 01:51 PM in reply to daniel
      Actually he was arrested in Atlanta for a DUI in 2002 and a hit and run, leaving the scene of an accident in 2009 and how this in 2012. Seems to close for comfort any of these times he could have killed someone for being careless and drinking and driving..enough is enough!
  • by Can you be serious on May 10, 2012 at 06:44 AM
    Why are we still having this conversation. This is a no brainer, Richards should lose his job! His criminal actions are not what a leader of the community should portray. And the board to try and say that he asked for personal time off and they granted it and that it had nothing to do with his arreast is BULL****! Stop trying to sugar coat it to save your own A**. They knew about the prior arrest in 2009 and they covered it up, brushed it under the rug! Richards, the Board and Bond needs to be investigated properly and thoroughly from an outside source. Not someone that the Board chooses because they only pick someone that will do and say what they want them to say!!! SOMEONE please get serious and do something about these people!!!
  • by Bond need a new CEO on May 10, 2012 at 06:26 AM
    Bond Community Health Center provides a service to the community. If can continue to provide these services (hopefully improving as they go) without Mr. Richards as CEO. The community needs to come together to support Bond and ALSO the dismissal of Richards. He has made too many criminal mistakes to be allowed his reign. I wish him well, but Bond needs to move on from this and find another candidate who will act responsibly and with regard to the health and safety of the community, something Mr. Richards has failed to do!
  • by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 06:26 PM
    Everyone need to realize that there is still a job to be done regardless. It's ironic that no one talks about how many lives have been changed and saved because of Bond. When the paper released the news of the accomplishments at Bond, there was no comments. Stop waiting around for the negative things and get a life. Why wait to voice your opinions on this forum? How long have you been feeling like this? Our country will never be a place of harmony and love when we continue to treat our fellow citizens this way. Mr. Richards is a human being and he is entitled to mistakes. We can't take away all the wonderful things this man has done for this community.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 10, 2012 at 05:13 AM in reply to Anonymous
      Richards is an alcoholic and a serial drunk driver. As such he loses time and is unable to perform as he would be able to if sober. He needs to go into treatment at his own expense. He should not be paid for time not worked. Upon completion of treatment, he should be re-evaluated and a rational decision made whether he should be re-hired.
  • by Mary Location: Tallahassee on May 9, 2012 at 04:06 PM
    It seems that Mr. Richards needs to check himself into the alcohol program that they have at Bond. Let's not cover this up. It was very wrong what he did and a person with a high regarded status such as CEO should not be carrying on like this. What kind of example is he showing people, just pay people off and you can get away with whatever you want? Bond deserves better than this. I agree that Tallahassee needs Bond for the impoverished and downtrodden, but ethical and moral standards must be upheld by everyone!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 06:39 PM in reply to Mary
      He's doing research!
  • by Anonymous on May 9, 2012 at 01:58 PM
    Lesson learned: remove bracelet from party before driving off drunk.
  • by For Real on May 9, 2012 at 01:30 PM
    why are we still having this conversation. The guy got off two other times for the same thing..he isn't worried, he get off this time too, job intact and smiling all the way to the bank in his newly repaired convertible...party on!
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