SDC names fourth exec director in a year
Harold Pitchford, former executive director at both Agnews and Porterville Developmental Centers, assumed the position of interim director at Sonoma Developmental Center in early February. Pitchford had been retired.
He replaces Patricia Flannery, deputy director for developmental centers at the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), who took the reigns in November on a temporary basis, serving in both capacities since then. She has returned to her role in Sacramento fulltime. Flannery replaced previous Interim Director Karen Clark, who in turn had replaced Jim Rogers in August, after Rogers resigned.
“Over the past few months the Department has been engaged in the hiring process to appoint an Executive Director at SDC,” DDS said in a statement, but had no comment on how long it might be before a permanent executive director was hired.
The search for a permanent executive director was extended nationwide in January (a move that required a special exemption to look outside California).
“We have a challenge with our staffing today,” Flannery said then, speaking generally of the difficulty with filling vacancies at SDC. “We’ve certainly had some people say to us, after they’d gone through the clearance process, ‘With all the scrutiny, all the news media attention, I don’t think Sonoma’s the place for me to come today.’”