DDS is responsible for problems at SDC

By Mary O’Riordan

In his Dec. 3 editorial, David Bolling wrote, “A climate of fear and intimidation has infected the Department of Developmental Services culture, inhibiting the spread of sunlight and accountability.”

That is probably a very accurate description of the way this department in Sacramento has operated for years.

From what I have seen, at least over the past 12 years (during part of which time I was president of the SDC Parent Hospital Association), DDS has micro-managed SDC. So, in my opinion, DDS needs to be held accountable for anything bad that happened there.

For instance, I remember when a young, developmentally-disabled woman became pregnant and the director of SDC at the time had ordered DNA testing of all staff people who worked in any way in this unit and with this person. I, understandably, was not privy for the most part to information of this kind, and I do respect privacy for the family and the girl involved. But the minimal amount of information I got was provided when I asked about DNA testing and was told that it had been done, but that the sheriff’s office could not run the tests because it was at a time when there were severe staffing shortages and it would be more than a year before it could be done.

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