CARO, Mich. – State Sen. Kevin Daley on Saturday said the recent story bringing to light emails showing Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) officials are against continuing the Caro Center renovation project comes as no surprise.
“These emails show the true intentions of the department and administration with the Caro Center project,” said Daley, R-Lum. “This is pure executive overreach and it is not Director Gordon’s job to approve funding or influence opinions — especially when the result clearly puts rural communities at a disadvantage.”
According to a recent ABC 12 News story, emails obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that new MDHHS Director Robert Gordon is in favor of closing the Caro Center entirely. The department recently announced that it hired a consultant to review the decision to update the facility in Caro, but Daley says these emails indicate a decision regarding the project’s future had already been made.
“The Caro Psychiatric Center has served patients in the mid-Michigan area for over 100 years, and directly impacts over 700 jobs in the Tuscola County community,” Daley said. “We cannot let the department continue to toy with our state’s mental health services or the economic prosperity of a rural community that is already struggling.”
The Whitmer administration previously announced they were halting renovations to the Caro Center as the review process ensued. The $115 million project, which was approved by the Legislature and then-Gov. Rick Snyder last year, had already started and construction was well underway when Whitmer’s decision to halt the project came in early-March.
“I am going to continue to fight for Tuscola County, the patients who receive care at the Caro Center and the employees whose livelihoods rely on the center staying in our community,” Daley said.