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Former Director Sues Mental Health Group

Marsh is known as a passionate advocate for Virginia's mentally ill who has constantly decried the state's lack of funding for mental health programs.

In the suit, Marsh says she told the board of NAMI Virginia about the loan and the deferment of her salary Nov. 20, 2004, and that "repayment of the latter was negotiable." At least three board members agreed that NAMI needed to repay her, according to Marsh. She stepped down as executive director in December 2004 and has yet to receive any repayment, she alleges in the lawsuit.

Now Marsh is asking the courts to make NAMI Virginia repay the $9,082.40 plus interest. A hearing in Richmond Circuit Court is scheduled for Sept. 19.

That's when NAMI hopes for a resolution, too. "We're just going to let the courts decide," says Nancy Beebe, president of NAMI Virginia's board of directors. Marsh could not be reached for comment by press time, and her attorney declined to comment.

According to NAMI Virginia's tax return for 2003, the most recent year available, the nonprofit collected $263,815 in revenue and spent $282,898. At the end of the year, NAMI Virginia reported total assets of $1,503. — Melissa Scott Sinclair

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