California Watch, an investigative reporting group, will hold a public forum in Sonoma on Sonoma Developmental Center's reported assaults and lapses in police oversight.
On Dec. 12, the state Department of Public Health announced that the Sonoma center, California's largest board-and-care facility for the severely disabled, would lose its primary license to operate. This sanction came after an investigation by California Watch revealed the center's management and police force had failed to adequately investigate significant evidence of reported patient abuse.
The forum will focus on what the new development will mean for the city of Sonoma, the developmental center and the people who live in surrounding communities. The center employs more than 1,000 people, many of whom are Sonoma residents.
The discussion will highlight the work of California Watch reporter Ryan Gabrielson. There will be a panel discussion with community members and experts in the field, moderated by Phil Bronstein, executive chairman of the Center for Investigative Reporting.
The forum will be 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 30 at Ramekins Culinary School. It is co-sponsored by Sonoma Index-Tribune. There is no admission charge.
Ramekins is at 450 W. Spain St., Sonoma.