Skip to comments.Head of Eastern State Hospital resigns (WA)
Posted on 09/23/2009 4:01:02 PM PDT by jazusamo
The head of Eastern State Hospital resigned today in the wake of last weeks Spokane Interstate Fair escape by a criminally insane patient who had been committed in the brutal killing a woman in 1987 in Sunnyside.
Phillip A. Paul, 47, walked away from the fair and stayed on the run for three days before being recaptured in a remote wooded area Sunday near Goldendale, Wash.
Eastern CEO Hal Wilson announced his resignation on Wednesday, according to officials in the state Department of Social and Health Services, the state agency that oversees mental health services.
Wilson has contended the mental hospital did everything according to its policies and procedures, despite widespread criticism from some hospital staffers and local law enforcement in the wake of the escape.
Paul, who was carrying a backpack on the trip to the fair, walked way late Thursday morning on an outing that included 30 other criminally-committed patients from the forensic unit at the hospital, but hospital officials waited for two hours to report his disappearance.
Law officers who captured Paul Sunday said he conned a friend into giving him a ride to Goldendale, located in Klickitat County about 250 miles southwest of Spokane and 60 miles southwest of Sunnyside, his hometown.
Paul told the friend he had been released, according to Spokane County sheriffs investigators, and the friend said he did not realize that Paul was on the run until Saturday when he notified law enforcement.
The friend then showed law officers where he dropped Paul off, and authorities mounted a multi-agency effort to capture him on Sunday.
Assistant DSHS Secretary Doug Porter said the resignation will take effect on Oct. 1, and that Wilson was retiring.
I want to thank Hal for his long service to the state, the Department of Social and Health Services, and Eastern State Hospital, Porter said in prepared statement.
Porter said that Richard Kellogg, director of mental health systems, has been at the hospital this week, coordinating an investigation into the circumstances of last weeks escape.
Porter said Kellogg also will work with Easterns Chief Operating Officer Connie Wilmot, who has agreed to become the acting CEO during the transition.
Porter also said he would make public the steps that will be taken in recruiting a permanent CEO in the near future.
Spokane Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich has said he plans to bill the state for overtime pay for as many as 10 of his officers who spent an average of 10 hours a day searching for Paul, and for the cost of launching the sheriffs helicopter for aerial searching at about $3,000 a day.
The helicopter was flown to Goldendale and used to help flush Paul from a wooded area where he was hiding with backpack, food, sleeping bag, coat, personal items and guitar.
He had also armed himself with a hand scythe, a curving farm implement that is sharpened like a knife blade and is intended for cutting hay or grain. The scythe was protruding from the pack when Paul was taken into custody without incident by three Spokane deputies, one of whom was badly injured in the shoulder in a jail scuffle with Paul during another arrest following an escape in 1990.
Wilson, who began his state service as an accountant at Eastern State Hospital, has been with the state for more than 28 years. He was named CEO of the hospital 10 years ago, state officials said.
Typical bureaucrat answer, they better change a lot of their policies and procedures, now.
The end of a long run - I bet he'll get one of those six-figure retirement salaries!
I’m sure he’ll find himself a cushy job advising the Obamination on health care.
No doubt, he should have been fired along with a few others. It’s a miracle this loonie toon didn’t kill someone else while free.
They would have to be “crazy” to ever let him run a mental hospital again. I hope, at the least, they have put a stop to those field trips.
“The end of a long run - I bet he’ll get one of those six-figure retirement salaries! “
Exactly! Aren’t you absolutely sick of this crap?
The head of Eastern State Hospital resigned today
Are they nuts ? I mean, are they ALL nuts ?
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