Mayors Herenton and Wharton are currently giving a joint press conference at the county Health Department, where they've announced that MSARC will be moving under the health department's management starting July 1st.
"We think the community will be better served if we looked at it as a health issue, as opposed to the other way we were looking at it," Herenton said.
Wharton says the agency will be a joint city/county entity, and that it will report annually to both governments. Though the transition will officially happen July 1st, staff will start coordinating with the health department tomorrow. The health department has yet to meet with the current staff.
The move will also coincide with the creation of a victims' services advisory board.
Wharton also mentioned that they would be developing a set of procedures to be used both at MSARC and the Le Bonheur-run clinic that will perform forensic exams on child victims of sexual assault.
"If we're not careful, we'll have defense lawyers who will play one examination process against the other," Wharton said. "We need to have standard protocals."
Herenton said that there is no evidence that anyone in MSARC's former management did anything wrong.