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Group looks into deaths at care facilities

March 03, 2012

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.

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“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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