By ABBY SOUZA
If Tuolumne County supervisors give the OK tomorrow, the county will pay close to $1 million to its mental health service provider even though county officials don't think they owe anything.
Kings View Corporation, a national mental-health-care provider, has offices in Tuolumne County and spent $2.4 million to provide local mental health services that they thought would be paid back.
County Counsel Gregory Oliver said in a memo to supervisors this week that the county believes Kings View misread its contract with the county.
Bea Readel, director of the county's Behavioral Health Department, said Kings View officials do not believe they misread the document, but that the county and the company have "agreed to disagree."
The company sued the county in December 2002.
Kings View, a private company, has contracted with the county since 1996.
It spent the $2.4 million on providing services to people who live in Tuolumne County, so partially paying Kings View back seemed fair, Oliver said.
If the board approves the settlement tomorrow, the county will pay $700,000 over the next five years. The money will come from the county's Behavioral Health Department. Under the proposal, the county would also forgive a $210,000 debt Kings View incurred for differences in Medi-Cal reimbursements.
The county also just selected Kings View as the outside company to provide mental health services for the next five years. The reimbursement will make for an amiable relationship between the two entities, Oliver said.
"It was important to make a good faith effort to reimburse them for those expenses," Oliver said.