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Media Articles - 1990s

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12 January 2003
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State Legal Costs Climb In Fight Against Narconon

The Oklahoman
August 21, 1992

Legal battles with the Narconon drug center cost the state mental health board at least $177,295 and the state attorney general's office untold hours of work, state officials say.

The board apparently ended the battles last week when it granted the center an exemption from state certification.

The board already has paid $167,650 to the Oklahoma City law firm Ryan, Corbyn and Geister, according to state mental health department spokeswoman Sarah Dunn.

The department is processing bills for June and July and waiting for one for August, Dunn said.

Narconon Chilocco, operating since 1990 on Indian land near Kansas, fought drawn-out court battles over the state's demands that it needed certification and later over the state's decision the center did not meet the standards for certification.

Under the advice of the Oklahoma City law firm, the board decided last week that state law entitled the center to an exemption from the certification requirement because it had received accreditation from a private council for rehabilitation centers.

The attorney general's office, which normally would represent the state Board of Mental Health and the state Department of Mental Health, decided partway into the legal battle with Narconon it could only represent the department.

The attorney general's office hasn't separated the cost of legal work in the Narconon case.

But the struggle has resulted in "hundreds and hundreds" of hours of research and preparation, spokesman Gerald Adams said.