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San Francisco starts probe into Nevada patient-busing

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Updated: 4/22/2013 2:19 pm
SAN FRANCISCO — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today announced that he has launched a formal investigation into allegations that the State of Nevada was extensively involved in “patient dumping” — busing hundreds of indigent people who suffer from mental health afflictions to out‐of‐state locations, including San Francisco, “with inadequate provisions of food and medication, and without prior arrangements for their care, housing or medical treatment upon arrival.”

In a letter sent to the director of Nevada’s Department of Health and Human Services this morning, Herrera cited a series of recent investigative reports by The Sacramento Bee that found one Las Vegas‐based state psychiatric hospital alone had transported more than 1,500 mentally‐ill patients by Greyhound bus to locations throughout the United States over the past five years.

A third of those questionably discharged patients were bused to California cities, according to the reports, with at least 36 bus tickets to San Francisco.

Herrera’s three‐page letter, which is copied to Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, demands the production of several categories of documents under Nevada’s Public Records Law for examination by City Attorney investigators.

Herrera is additionally inviting local non‐profit and faith‐based providers of services to San Francisco’s homeless population to assist in the investigation, both to request that those potentially victimized by Nevada’s mistreatment assist the city in gathering evidence and testimony, and also to facilitate referrals to private legal counsel for individuals whose civil rights may have been violated.

-- From news release
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