Straight Inc. filed papers for incorporation on April 22, 1976.
Straight Inc.’s doors opened for operation on Sept. 1, 1976.
The following 1978 Task Force Investigation blog posts come from two documents dated January 11, 1978 and January 12, 1978.
The second document, that explains why the District V task force was created, dated January 12, 1978 shows that it was written by Harry W. Moffett, PDMHD (Dept. of Mental Heath), to PDMH Robert R. Furlough, Ph.D.
The subject of the memo: Attached report from District V Concerning Project Straight, Inc. Investigation.
Approximately two months ago, Jim Holley, Mental Health Specialist from District V, called and indicated that there were reports from various people within the St. Petersburg community that there were problems with Project Straight, Inc., a private non-profit organization licensed as a day care program with foster homes. He indicated that the district staff were forming a task force to investigate allegations. ….
On Thursday I met with Bob Marshall, District Administrator, and members of the Licensing Review Committee and the task force who have been investigating Project Straight, Inc. It was decided to issue a ninety-day interim license to Project Straight. Also, because of the serious allegations made to the investigators there is a possibility that the District Administrator may turn over his full report to the State Attorney’s office. I raised the question of both federal and state laws regarding confidentiality for drug clients.
I seriously question the handling over of the report to the state Attorney’s offices, which includes names and addresses of current clients and some former clients. I recommended that Mr. Marshall consider having the State Attorney’s office subpoena his report rather than just giving it to him without a subpoena.
At the time of this writing, it is unknown whether Mr. Marshall will, in fact, turn over the entire report to the State Attorney’s office without being issued a subpoena.
It should be noted that this project is funded by LEAA and local contributions, and there is no general revenue funding involved.
Update: January 13, 1978:
I received a call from Jim Holley, District Mental Health specialist at 2:30pm, January 13, 1978, regarding the Project Straight report. Jim indicated that Bob Marshall, District Administrator, and Barbara McPherson, Attorney, met with a staff member from the State Attorney’s office in St. Petersburg, and it was determined that the State Attorney’s office would subpoena the entire report, which includes names of current clients and former clients of the Straight Project.
The subpoena has been issued, and the entire report has been turned over to the State Attorney’s office. Mr. Marshall has indicated to his entire staff that this information is confidential, and the fact that he has turned it over to the State Attorney’s office is not to be released to anyone.
Attached to this letter is the ‘Confidential Report’ written up by John Bustle on January 11, 1978.
The first report, dated January 11, 1978, states: The following persons were appointed to a District V task force to investigate allegations being made against Straight, Inc.:
J.B. Holley, Chairman
Frankie Goldsby (part-time)
During this investigation, the task force conducted interviews with the following people:
9 members of the current Board of Directors
5 former member of the Board of Directors
13 members of the current staff
4 previous employees of Straight, Inc.
5 foster home families
9 graduates of the program
48 current clients (24 selected at random by Straight Staff and 24 selected at random by the task force team)
6 clients who, for one reason or another, had left the program prior to completion
2 parents who earlier had children in the Straight program
9 clients and/or their parents who we had reason to believe were either involved in or observed physical or verbal abuse.
A review of records and files was also carried out.
Included in the report was be the Findings, the Conclusions, and Recommendations.