Eastern State Hospital CEO resigns - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Eastern State Hospital CEO resigns

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MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. - The Chief Executive Officer of Eastern State Hospital has resigned, according to Department of Social and Health Services Public Information Officer Jim Stevenson.

CEO Hal Wilson's resignation is effective October 1

In a letter to the Department of Social and Health Services Secretary Susan Dreyfus, hospital CEO Hal Wilson wrote he is resigning based on the recent escape of schizophrenic killer Phillip Paul from hospital staff during a trip to the Spokane County Fair.

"Based on the recent circumstances of a patient escaping... I think it is best that I resign my position as Chief Executive Officer," wrote Wilson.

Wilson expressed hopes that his resignation would show that "a change in leadership at the hospital is being taken and that new vision and direction can be brought forth to lead the Hospital."

Wilson finished the letter by writing he is saddened to leave the hospital and that he hopes the hospital can overcome the 'public sentiment' toward the establishment.

Department of Social and Health Services Assistant Secretary Doug Porter said CEO Hal Wilson's resignation was effective October 1 and that Wilson was planning to retire.

Porter said Richard Kellogg, Director of Mental Health Systems, has been at the hospital this week coordinating the investigation into the circumstances of last week's escape by Paul during the outing to the fair.

Porter said Kellogg also will work with Eastern State Hospital Chief Operating Officer Connie Wilmot, who has agreed to become the acting CEO of Eastern State Hospital during the transition. Porter said he would announce the steps in the recruitment of a permanent CEO in the near future.

KHQ attempted to contact Wilson following Paul's escape and eventual capture, but he could not be reached for comment. 

KHQ is working to gather more information. Stay with KHQ.com for more.

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