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Chicago’s LGBT Howard Brown Health Center to repay feds $715K

Chicago’s LGBT Howard Brown Health Center to repay feds $715K

CHICAGO — The Howard Brown Health Center, a nationally recognized LGBT health care organization, on Tuesday announced it will repay $715,000 to three separate federal agencies to settle a claim that the clinic improperly used research grant monies.

Jamal Edwards, chief executive officer of the Howard Brown Health Center, said the federal grant money was used to pay operating costs for Howard Brown, a violation of federal law.

Edwards took the helm of the health clinic network in 2010, after allegations of misspending became public.

According to an investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, during the period from 2005 to 2010, the center used $1 million in federal grants designated for an AIDS research study to pay general operating expenses, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Under terms of the settlement, Howard Brown will immediately send $53,924 to the Centers for Disease Control and $86,076 to Health Resources and Services Administration, and will repay a total of $575,000 to the National Institutes of Health over three years.

Edwards said the agency has boosted fundraising efforts since he came aboard and is able to repay the money with revenues from its charity resale shops and clinical and pharmaceutical operations.

The total settlement of $715,000 is less than $1 million that was misspent from 2005 to 2010 — federal authorities could have demanded more than $3 million in total fines and interest.

The Chicago health clinic was founded in 1974 and provides health care and research primarily focused on the LGBTQ community.

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