ETSU: Methadone clinic “letter of support” misrepresented, retracts it


JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL)- East Tennessee State University is being pulled into the debate on whether a methadone clinic should be allowed to open in Johnson City.

This is the cover letter Crossroads' attorney sent to HSDA, identifying the ETSU letter as a "letter of support".

News Channel 11 discovered a letter written by an ETSU professor that expresses interest in partnering with Crossroads Treatment Center if it is allowed to open in the Tri-Cities. The letter was submitted to Tennessee’s Health Services and Developmental Agency, HSDA, by Crossroads’ attorney, who identified it as a “letter of support” for the methadone clinic.

It reads in part, “ETSU would be willing to explore internship opportunities in your Weaverville, NC center and in the Tri-Cities area should Crossroads open an additional center in the area.”

When News Channel 11 started asking ETSU about the letter it was retracted. In a retraction letter sent to the HSDA, the same professor wrote, “I was surprised to find that my letter dated January 4, 2016… was included as a letter of support.” The professor went on to say the original letter was misrepresented and was not intended to support or oppose the clinic.

Crossroads Co-Founder Steve Kester said the letter was supposed to show how Crossroads is building relations in the community and they were going to clarify it in the application.

The HSDA is set to make a decision on Crossroads’ certificate of need application in late February.

This is the original ETSU letter Crossroads' attorney submitted to the HSDA as a "letter of support."
The retraction letter ETSU sent to the Tennessee HSDA, retracting the original letter.

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