Anthony Toto, Former Fairview Hospital Head, Dies


Dr. Anthony N. Toto, a former superintendent and medical director of Fairview State Hospital, died Sept. 7 of complications of bladder cancer. He was 74.

The New York doctor moved to California in 1957, serving as assistant medical director at Camarillo State Hospital until 1963, when he came to Fairview. His 13-year tenure ended in controversy in 1976 when he resigned rather than accept a transfer back to Camarillo.

One source at the hospital said at the time that Toto had been the victim of a "power play" within the former state Department of Health. Toto had been criticized by a parents' group for the way patients were handled and for being too close to his staff.

When the transfer was announced, several hundred Fairview employees staged a brief protest in the facility's lobby, but Toto urged them to return to work.

The hospital's governing board sent a letter to the Orange County Grand Jury, saying it "has become increasingly concerned that improper and illegal practices were undertaken by upper- and lower-echelon employees in the service of the state Department of Health to orchestrate the removal of Dr. Toto."

Since his resignation, Toto lived in Irvine and continued to to practice medicine at Southern California clinics specializing in weight problems.

Survivors include his wife, Shelley, and son, Mark, both of Irvine; a sister and two grandchildren.

A viewing is scheduled today at Pacific View Memorial Park, 3500 Pacific View Drive, Newport Beach, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. The funeral Mass will be Thursday at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 5101 Alton Parkway in Irvine, at 5 p.m.

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