Federal investigation spurs SLO County to outsource mental health services

June 6, 2022

Andrew Holland


San Luis Obispo County plans to outsource inpatient mental health services as the Behavioral Health Department faces multiple challenges, an email to employees says. The services would be transferred to private entities.

During the past decade, administrators of the SLO County Psychiatric Health facility have been under fire amid allegations of the mistreatment of the mentally ill as well as mismanagement. The allegations led to a federal investigation and the continuous turnover of doctors. At least 10 have left during the past five years, staff say.

The doctor in charge of the unit, the Behavioral Health Department’s Medical Director Daisey Ilano, has been with the county for more than a decade. Ilano, who in 2021 received $534,209 in pay and benefits, reportedly is under investigation for her actions in the treatment and death of Andrew Holland.

Holland, a 36-year-old a mentally ill man, died in Jan. 2017 after  jail guards left him strapped in a restraint chair, also known as the “Devil’s Chair,” for more than 46 hours.

The county mental health facility had refused to admit Holland. Ilano claimed at the time that the county facility was full and could not admit any inmates. Other county employees, including Sheriff Ian Parkinson, say the facility was not full.

Following Holland’s death, the FBI opened an investigation into a string of 12 deaths at the jail and issues at the county mental health facility. The investigation is ongoing, according to county staff.

Multiple requests for comment to county mental health facility management staff were not returned.

The outsourcing plan is expected to result in the elimination of about 20 county positions. However, the county may offer some of those staffers work in other departments.

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Its unfortunate that the same jail employees are still employed at the jail.The jail employees all covering for each other ,so as to keep their extravagant salaries. A good portion of jail deputies are assigned to the jail for a reason , usually those deputies had problems while working patrol .The sheriffs dept hides those deputies at the jail , maybe in hopes those deputies will improve themselves and can return to patrol .Nothin worse than a street deputy who is transferred to the jail as a punitive and PR action . When/If that deputy returns to patrol usually has the jail deputy mentality which usually ends up in a cash settlement awarded to a person wronged by those deputies .It seems that the FBI should clean house at the jail . Sure has been a long investigation

The.”Deputies” working in the jail are Correctional Deputies. This is a different job classification from a Deputy Sheriff. A Deputy Sheriff would not be assigned to the jail for any reason.

Of the about 20 positions to be eliminated how many are upper level administrators? Sure we can guess.