Recycling is generally good but not in the case of politics and the Department of Social and Health Services in Washington State.
In 2010, Kathy Leitch, then Assistant Secretary of Aging and Disability Services Administration was demoted after an investigation sparked by the report “Seniors for Sale” as reported in The Seattle Times by Michael J. Behrens. The report brought forth issues of abuse in adult family homes. Abuses have continued and were highlighted again in recent reports concerning vulnerable citizens with developmental disabilities.
Today, February 8, 2013, Kathy Leitch was appointed as the acting assistant secretary leading our state’s Developmental Disabilities Division.
In today’s press release, Department of Social and Health Services Secretary Kevin W. Quigley states ““Gov. Inslee has made it clear that we need to do more to meet our obligations to children and families in Washington,” Quigley said. “This realignment of leadership and accountability will help the Department meet its broad and complex responsibilities while following the governor’s direction that state government must operate more efficiently and produce measurable results.” (DSHS announces major leadership reorganization)
The press release heralds Ms. Leitch as a nationally recognized administrator with more than 30 years of experience. Her leadership has helped make Washington a national leader in the development of home- and community-based systems that meet the needs of vulnerable adults.
Is our state so poor in proactive, innovative and progressive leaders that we need to recycle people who have proven to be not only ineffective but dangerous? Is this what we have to look forward to?
I find this appointment a slap in the fact to our vulnerable citizens. Yet again, they are thrown under the bus and discarded.
We need to make our voices heard that this appointment is not in the best interest of our citizens with developmental disabilities or for our state. I do hope that our newly elected Governor will realize this is a mistake and find a better solution to the problem.