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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Minnesota county alleges termination of grant by HHS was abuse of discretion

By Noddy A. Fernandez | May 9, 2018

Law money 10

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – A Minnesota county alleges a federal agency unlawfully terminated a grant it used for a teen pregnancy prevention program.

Hennepin County, Minnesota filed a complaint on May 3 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against Department of Health and Human Services and Secretary Alex Azar citing the Administrative Procedure Act.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that in 2015, it received a five-year Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Adolescent Health. The suit states the plaintiff was informed that the project would terminate two years early on June 30 without explanation.

"HHS’ premature termination of Hennepin County’s grant means that thousands of youth in the county’s communities with the highest teen birth rates and social and racial disparities will not receive evidence-based sexual health education, and that approximately $3 million in federal funds will not go to support community-based health educators over the next two years," the suit states.

The plaintiff holds Department of Health and Human Services and Azar responsible because the defendants termination of the grant allegedly was arbitrary and an abuse of discretion.

The plaintiff seeks for the defendants to reinstate the grant for the awarded five-year period, award of costs, attorney fees, and grant such other relief as this court may deem just and proper. It is represented by Ginger Anders of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP in Washington, D.C.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia case number 1:18-cv-01053-KBJ

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U.S. District Court for the District of ColumbiaHennepin County