Zero Track Record: Sen. Danny Britt endorsed $10 million for church with no addiction treatment experience
WRAL: Senior Pastor”pleaded guilty to at least seven counts of embezzlement”
Drug use and opioid overdose is a serious and deadly problem nationwide and in North Carolina. However, Sen. Danny Britt supported a $10 million project for a local church and non-profit to open an opioid treatment center — though the church “Zero track record of delivering drug treatments.” The $10 million mark is now overseen by senior pastor Ronald Barnes, who has done so at least seven prior convictions for embezzlement.
The $10 million represents 60 percent of the state’s total federal funding for drug rehabilitation. Meanwhile, drug use experts say government money is going to “Clinics and organizations with a track record of delivering evidence-based addiction treatment‘, not to unproven groups with limited oversight.
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“This is hog barrel politics at its worst. Senator Britt is abusing his position to try to bolster support for his re-election campaign rather than actually helping his constituents.” said NCDP Executive Director Meredith Cuomo. “It is ruthless and shows a clear lack of concern for the real harm being felt in the community. That kind of pay-for-play is another reason voters will elect new leadership for NC Senate District 13 this fall.”
WFAE 90.7: NC lawmakers target opioid crisis, give $10 million to new church ministry
WRAL: Church, a nonprofit with no track record of providing drug treatment, received $10 million from the state to help fight the opioid crisis