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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