Chapter 5 of The Cover Up, A Novel


“If you will be kind enough to take me to your office, Mr. Jennings we can start with your interview.”
“Certainly, “ replied Rick.
The detective and Rick arrived at the supervisor’s office. Rick’s office had recently been refurbished and looked professional. Although there never seemed to be money in the budget for programming for the residents, there was enough money in the building fund to spruce up the supervisor’s office and buy him a state of the art computer complete with all the bells and whistles. Rick pointed to a red upholstered chair for Detective Barnes.
“How long have you been the manager of the mental health wing, Rick?”
asked the detective.
“This is only my third month in this position. There has been quite a bit of turnover with supervisors during the last five years,” Rick answered.
“ And why is that?” asked the detective.
“It’s hard to find the right person for this job especially at such a low salary. The government grant provided funding for a very physically attractive facility but there was little funding directed towards staffing needs for its various programs.”
“ So why did you sign on for the job?” asked Barnes.
“ I needed a change. I’d been managing a used car lot for the last five years and I was tired of it.”
“This is certainly quite a change of direction for you!” laughed the detective.
“Yeah, that’s true, but there’s a little more to my story than just that. You see I have a brother who suffers from schizophrenia. I am shocked by the lack of effective treatment that he has received from our present mental health system,” explained Rick.
“So you wanted to see if you can fix the system? asked the detective.”
“On a small scale, yes,” answered Rick. “But that’s enough about me. I want to find out what happened to my resident this evening. I will have to notify his family as soon as possible. ”
“Of course, I’ll just step outside while you make the call.”
Rick phoned Bret’s parents but only got their answering machine. He left a message for them to call him immediately about an urgent matter. After he put the phone back in its cradle, Rick gave Detective Barnes the signal to come back to his office.
“My first question for you is what are you doing here at four in the morning. I thought supervisors normally work the day shift.”
“Normally, yes but this evening we had a scheduling problem. My Saturday evening shift worker, Brad phoned me at home to let me know that the night shift person was ill and that he called other staff but couldn’t find anyone available to work the overnight shift.”
“Wasn’t Brad able to work a double shift?”
047

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