The Crazy Center

Every word that follows is absolutely true. It is a real case in a Mi Circuit Court.

In its infinite wisdom, the State of Michigan, with the bottomless well of taxpayer money decided it would be a good idea to fund drop-in centers for people who "..had been, or are currently, being treated for mental health problems.."(hereafter 'crazies'). The legislation required that the drop in center be managed and administered exclusively by crazies. According to the regulations, only crazies could be members of the Board of Directors; only crazies could drop in; and only crazies could be employed (as in paid a wage) to administer the day to day operation of the Crazy Center. The State provided the funds to the County Department of Mental Health, and they in turn paid the funds to the Crazies. They found enough crazies to establish a B of D. They formed a corporation, Harbor of Hope Inc. The crazy Board elected crazy officers, rented a building, and hired a crazy staff.

Karen (apparently originally thought to be crazy but subsequently unable to prove it satisfactorily) and her husband Ted (who's mental status is totally irrelevant to the case) began dropping in to the crazy center in 1995, and continued to be welcomed as if they belonged, until 2001. In May of 2001, the crazy director Stan, and his crazy Board, hired Karen as a part time employee at the crazy center. No one asked her if she were qualified (crazy) to work there, and no one asked her to fill out a form asserting her craziness, or for that matter to even act crazy (assuming anyone else could tell anyway). Apparently it was assumed, that since she had been coming there for several years, she must be crazy, or at least her attendance had caused her to become so, and she therefore qualified to not only use the drop-in center, but to work there as well.

Karen performed her duties so well she was promoted to crazy Assistant Director, and no one noticed, or at least complained she was not crazy. By August Karen had done so well she was appointed to replace crazy Stan, the now former crazy Director, who went on the Board as the crazy Treasurer. During May and July, Karen was repeatedly and consistently sexually harassed by crazy Stan the crazy Director. Crazy Stan hit on her, told her vivid and vulger tales about what crazy things he wanted to do to her crazy body, incessantly asked for hugs and kisses, and in general acted like a crazy fool. (Crazy Stan was an equal opportunity harasser who harassed all the crazy girls who dropped into the crazy Center.) In August, when Karen was promoted to Director, she decided she had had enough of Stans harassment, and told him to cut it out. He refused. At the October meeting of the craZy Board of Directors, Karen reported Stan's activities. The crazy Board took no interest, and told Karen that Stan, although crazy, was a really nice guy and had done a great deal for the Center. No investigation followed. That very night, in a post Board Board meeting, the crazy Board, for the first time questioned whether Karen was crazy qualified to direct the center.

Shortly after the October Board meeting, Karen was asked to fill out some forms certifying and verifying she was crazy qualified. She indicated, truthfully, she had seen a counselor a couple of times, and even consulted with a social worker on occasion. Well, the crazy Board openly doubted Karen's spotty quasi-crazy history was sufficient to qualify her for the position she held, and sought guidance from the County Mental Health Department. The Mental Health Department had authority over this issue because it was the agency that funded the crazy Center with tax revenue. As it turned out, the County Mental Health Director (a PHD holder - but no evidence as to his state of craziness) sided with the crazy Board of Directors and issued a written opinion that Karaen was not sufficiently crazy qualified to run the crazy Center, and must be discharged. The implication of the Director's opinion was that if Karen were not discharged, Community Mental Health could no longer fund the crazy Center as it was in violation of its funding contract with the State that the crazy Center be run by a crazy Director.

Karen was discharged. She filed suit against Harbor of HOpes Inc alleging in the alternative:
Karen was crazy, or at least crazy enough to be employed.
The crazy Board knew, or at least reasonably should have known Karen was not crazy when they hired her, and they hired her anyway.
Karen was sexually harassed by Stan and the crazy Board did nothing to either investigate or direct him to stop.
Karen was fired by the crazy Board in retaliation for reporting Stan was sexually harassing her.
Karen was discriminated against because she was not crazy, or at least not crazy enough.
Karen was never given the opportunity to demonstrate by clinical evidence she was sufficiently crazy to qualify for the position into which she had been promoted.
The crazy Board treated Karen as if she were not crazy impaired, because she performed so admirably in her position, and she was therefore discriminated against for not acting sufficiently crazy, when she was in fact, crazy.

Well, poor Karen not only lost her job, but now cannot find a another because her discharge for not being crazy follows her at every new interiview. Crazy Stan is still the Treasurer of the crazy B of D of the crazy Center, and the County Mental Health Department continues to fund the Harbor of Hope crazy drop-in center which continues to hire crazy people to run the crazy Center and make sure no non-crazies are permitted to darken the door of the Harbor of Hope lest they lose their state funding.

(And to think a few weeks ago. Don was chiding me because our state legislature outsourced to India the state hot line. Don, we've got bigger issues here!)

Postcript: This case settled for $7500. Crazy!


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