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.