Orangewood Medical Audit to Be Turned In

A Torrance psychiatrist hired to lead an outside audit of medication practices at Orangewood Children's Home has agreed to hand over her report after withholding it for more than two months, a county official said Monday.

Dr. Melinda Young is expected to turn in her report by next week, county Mental Health Director Timothy Mullins said. Young had withheld the report because she feared being sued for defamation, he said.

Young was the leader of a three-person team looking into staff allegations that one Orangewood psychiatrist had inappropriately medicated children at the county-run home for abused and neglected youngsters. The psychiatrist was not identified.

Mullins said last month that Young's refusal to turn in the report was "embarrassing" and stymied his department's efforts to resolve staff members' concerns. The psychiatrist who was accused of improperly medicating the youngsters was transferred from his job at Orangewood, but continued to treat children for the county Health Care Agency.

Young could not be reached late Monday.

Mullins, who has been trying to negotiate with Young for weeks, said he could not explain her change of heart. Young had been assured earlier by Mullins' staff that she would be held harmless in the event of a lawsuit, he said.

"She has finished talking to her lawyer, and I expect to receive her report by next week," Mullins said. "I'm not sure why she feels more comfortable."

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