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Attorney General Files Charges Against Former Police at Porterville Developmental Center

Charges of embezzlement and grand theft come this week as state legislators call for improvements within the state Department of Developmental Services law enforcement division.

Protective Services police at California's homes for severely mentally disabled people have come under fire again. The state Attorney General has filed embezzlement and grand theft charges against two men who formerly worked at Porterville Developmental Center.

One man is alleged to have fraudulently reported more than 2,500 overtime hours in 2008, which increased his pay that year by $121,000, according to this report by California Watch and confirmed for Patch by the Attorney General's spokeswoman, Lynda Gledhill, on Friday. California Watch is an investigative journalism group, which has published a series of articles on investigations into the developmental centers.

The other man charged is the former police chief at the center in Porterville, who is accused of authorizing and directing the false entries on overtime slips by the investigator, Scott Gardner, according to the story. The former chief is Jeffrey Bradley, the article reports.

This comes as two state Senate bills—marked urgent—propose increased certification requirements for any chief of Protective Services at a developmental center, due to reports—and at least —related to sex assaults, violence, "neglect" and "abuse" of some patients over the past 12 years and the reportedly lax investigations by Protective Services.

The developmental centers throughout the state are operated by the state Department of Developmental Services, which has its own Law Enforcement Division. The Office of Protective Services is part of that division.

Chiefs of these police groups at the centers have not been required to have sworn police officer training and certification, according to staff of Sen. Carol Liu, who introduced one of the bills, SB 1051. Liu chairs the Senate Committee on Human Services. Her bill would require that the chief of Protective Services at each center would have that training, in order to properly oversee investigations and reporting of any alleged incidents.

Patch has reported on SB 1051 and a companion bill SB 1522, both headed to the governor's desk—in .  SB 1522 was introduced by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco).

In 2002, the Attorney General's Office reported on a survey of Protective Services at the facilities, which called for improvements. The report is attached to the Patch story.

Elizabeth Clary September 02, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Thank you for covering this important topic. I would like to clarify that Porterville Developmental Center is not a "home." Rather, it is a state institution. "Homes" for Californians with intellectual and developmental disabilities are run by a network of independent contractors, some of whom are non-profit agencies, that are overseen by state-comtracted Regional Centers and (in most cases) Community Care Licensing.
Elizabeth Clary September 02, 2012 at 06:31 PM
I would also add that people with disabilities living in state institutions do not uniformly have "severe" conditions. The majority of people with a high level of need live in their communities, not in institutions. In fact, less than 1% of Californians diagnosed with an intellectual or developmental disability live in state institutions.
popelaw September 05, 2012 at 06:59 AM
really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I'll love to read your next post too. http://www.pope-law.com/
Julie Pendray (Editor) September 05, 2012 at 09:04 AM
Yes, thanks Elizabeth. The use of the word 'home' was an attempt not to overuse the same words in the story but if it implied inaccuracy, I value your comment setting us straight.

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