On Monday, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan's office issued a press release stating that the mayor has ordered an audit of the contract between Oriana House and the City of Akron.
The audit announcement comes shortly after reports of overdoses and even an overdose death at Oriana House Akron.
You can read the full statement from the mayor's office below:
Today Mayor Dan Horrigan made public his plans to seek an independent audit of the contract between the City and Oriana House, Inc.— a non-profit community corrections and rehabilitation organization that provides confinement, chemical dependency and employment placement services and operates a work release program for individuals convicted of certain offenses through the Akron Municipal Court.
“As we, as a community, strive to build collaborative, effective solutions to combat opiate addiction, my priority has always been to provide the victims of addiction with safe, healthy environments in which to recover and generate real opportunities for those individuals to turn their lives around and contribute fully to society.”
“Furthermore, from my first day in office, my administration has been systematically reevaluating each of our significant long-standing relationships and agreements to make sure we are achieving the maximum benefit for our citizens,” Mayor Horrigan said. “It is critical that Akron residents have full confidence that their public dollars are being well spent. For these collective reasons, I have asked my staff to see that the City’s contract with Oriana House is subjected to a full, independent audit.”
In addition to the independent audit, Mayor Horrigan also expressed his intention to reevaluate the process through which these services are awarded. “As we look to the future, we will be critically examining our procedures and contracting criteria with fresh eyes, to ensure fairness and transparency throughout the process,” Mayor Horrigan said. Additional details about the audit will be made public as they become available.
An Akron City Council committee took time this week to address issues at Oriana House, including a recent fatal overdose. Akron City Councilwoman Tara Mosley Samples and Oriana House Executive Vice President Bernie Rochford joined Jasen to discuss the concerns and how to improve recovery programs in Akron.
An Akron man is charged with bringing fake drugs into the Oriana House facility in Akron, where four people were hospitalized for seizures on Tuesday afternoon.
Cleveland.com reports that 39 year-old Kerry Boyer is accused of bringing synthetic marjiuana into the house.
He faces charges including illegally bringing drugs into the facility, heroin possession and resisting arrest.
Oriana House officials say all four inmates were treated and released, including Boyer.
The report says police found out that Boyer smoked synthetic marijuana, and still had some - along with a "small amount" of heroin.
On the Web: Cleveland Plain Dealer/Advance Ohio, www.cleveland.com
Half a dozen residents at a local correctional facility was taken to the hospital after suspected drug overdoses late Tuesday night. Oriana House officials say two men at the Summit County Community Based Correctional Facility (CBCF) were treated and released, but four men are still being evaluated. Officials report the residents' symptoms indicate that the drug involved in the overdoses were linked to synthetic marijuana, also known as K2. But officials note that the chemical make-up of K2 constantly changes -- making it difficult to test.
Officials say as a result of the incidents, Oriana House staff members have "restricted the movement of all the clients at the Summit County CBCF, allowing residents to leave only for approved employment and medical appointments."
Full searches will be conducted in the facilities and
enhanced pat downs" are being implemented as well.
In a news release, Executive Vice President Bernie Rochford stated:
"We constantly monitor our clients and our facilities to take every effort to keep drugs out of our programs. But like many jails and prisons that have recently reported overdoses, Oriana House is a community based program and is not immune to drugs getting into our facilities."
Local authorities are investigating the incidents.