Mismanagement at the Hawaii State Hospital continuesUPDATED 8:07 PM HST Jun 11, 2014Video Transcript
That's what a state lawmaker who chairs a special investigative committee said today after taking a tour of the embattled facility. KITV4's Andrew Pereira has the latest developments. 01-07 12-16 After emerging from court- ordered supervision in 2006, conditions at the Hawaii State Hospital have not improved. That's according to Sen. Clayton Hee, who just toured the Kaneohe facility. SEN. CLAYTON HEE: "MY OWN OPINION IS THERE'S BEEN A SLIPPAGE FROM 2006." The court order was the result of patients being abused by staff. But now the tables have turned, and it's staff who are concerned about their own safety. The Hawaii State Hospital averages an assault every three days. SEN. CLAYTON HEE: "IT'S PATIENTS ON PATIENTS, PATIENTS ON EMPLOYEES." The senator is part of a 5- member special committee that's in the process of investigating the hospital. Hee said one area of concern he noticed during his tour was blacked-out surveillance cameras, about ten in all. SEN. CLAYTON HEE: "EVEN IF THERE'S NOBODY IN THAT AREA, TO ME, THE CAMERA OUGHT TO BE ON." The hospital was built to handle about 170 patients, but today there were 202. Another 40 patients are being housed at the Kahi Mohala because there's not enough room. Hee says what the state truly needs is a forensic facility, not a hospital. SEN. CLAYTON HEE: "THIS FACILITY IS WAY TOO SMALL. THAT'S ONLY FROM A PHYSICAL POINT OF VIEW. THIS FACILITY IS ALSO NOT EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH PSYCHOTIC, DRUG-INDUCED INDIVIDUALS." Hee and his fellow committee members are also investigating allegations of nepotism, after several high- ranking staff members were found to have hired relatives. SEN. CLAYTONG HEE: "THE INDIVIDUALS WHO ALLEGEDLY WERE INVOLVED EXPRESSED TO ME THAT IF THEY COULD DO IT DIFFERENTLY, THEY WOULD DO IT DIFFERENTLY. THESE WILL ALL IN MY OPINION COME TO A HEAD WHEN THE ETHICS COMMISSION CONDUCTS IT'S OWN INVESTIGATIVE HEARINGS." The hospital has also been plagued by issues of overtime and sick leave, and has a current deficit of $5- point-2 million dollars. The investigative committee has scheduled another hearing next Wednesday.