Group looks into deaths at care facilities

The state Senate Human Services Committee will hold a hearing March 13 to investigate reports of deaths, injuries and mishandled police investigations at care facilities for the severely disabled, according to Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge).

Liu, the committee’s chairwoman, also recently sent a letter to Terry Delgadillo, director of the California Department of Developmental Services, demanding answers about alleged incidents.

News organizations have been reporting that the department’s internal police force — the Office of Protective Services — didn’t collect crime-scene evidence, waited days to interview witnesses after unexplained deaths and failed to follow other basic law enforcement techniques, Liu said.

“These reports call into question the efficacy of the investigators employed by the department and suggest that this inability to handle complex investigations has resulted — literally — in people getting away with murder,” Liu said in a statement.

-- Mark Kellam

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