The state official who resigned over the investigation into the attack on State Senator Creigh Deeds said the incident was preventable, one day after a report about the incident was released.
Earlier this month Douglas Bevelacqua stepped down as the lead investigator into the incident because of revisions to the report that he felt would diminish it.
On Friday, Bevelacqua issued a statement offering four observations that he said would have been included in the Deeds investigation report -- had he not resigned.
Bevelacqua feels that the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) did not implement recommendations he issued in 2012. He also accused the DBDS of concealing its failure to act on his recommendations.
Bevelacqua went on to say that someone should be held accountable for the incident. The DBHDS did not respond directly to Bevelacqua’s claims. A DBHDS spokesperson pointed out that the organization has been working to implement the suggestions listed in Bevelacqua’s 2012 report.
The spokesperson noted that DBHDS has worked with the Governor and General Assembly to try and increase the number of beds in state hospitals, secure more money for private hospital beds, add more assessment centers, and expand the six-hour timeframe on emergency custody orders.
At the end of Bevelacqua’s statement he applauded the work of the Deeds Commission, which is working on improving the state’s mental health treatment.
Also Friday, Rockbridge Area Community Services issued this statement about the report:
Our thoughts and prayers continue to remain with the Deeds family.
We are pleased that the Inspector General’s report has finally been published.
The report points out areas for improvement in the entire mental health system and we agree with all of the recommendations.
We will continue to review our processes and work with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, law enforcement agencies, and all community stakeholders to ensure that systems are in place to serve the patients and families of those in need of our help.