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Molina Attacks Priorities of Mental Health Dept.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina on Tuesday criticized the interim head of the Mental Health Department for earmarking $1.5 million for office work stations and computers instead of ensuring the safety of caseworkers.

“I’m really concerned about your priorities,” Molina told Francis Dowling, who told the board later that his workers toil in a “sweatshop” each day that is unfit for human habitation.

Molina said that many of the security measures that a county grand jury recommended after a patient stabbed mental health worker Robbyn Panitch to death in Santa Monica two years ago have never been put in place, largely because of the costs involved. And she said the department has closed numerous facilities during the last three years because of a lack of money.


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