Department of Administrative Services officials launched a review of the board’s management April 25 at the request of Kate Lieber, the chairwoman of the board, said Amy Velez, a department spokeswoman. Mary Claire Buckley, executive director of the psychiatric review board, was placed on leave May 2.
“Because we’re doing the review, we placed her on administrative leave,” said Velez, who declined to elaborate.
Lieber and Buckley did not return messages seeking comment Monday.
The Psychiatric Security Review Board has jurisdiction over people found “guilty except for insanity” of a crime. The 10 board members, who are appointed by the governor, have the authority to commit people to the Oregon State Hospital, conditionally release them to community-based programs, or discharge them from their jurisdiction.
State investigators in February 2011 found Buckley had verbally abused an Oregon State Hospital patient who had declined to enter a secure residential treatment facility. Buckley implied the patient would suffer ramifications for defying the board and refusing the placement, according to a report from the Department of Human Services’ Office of Investigations and Training.
“Buckley’s conduct was an instance of poor judgment,” the report concluded. “She was also disrespectful of the patient, yelled at (the patient) in public, and was clearly coercing or ordering (the patient).”
Buckley earns an annual salary of $99,636, not including benefits. Juliet Follansbee, a program manager on the board staff, is currently filling in for Buckley.