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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Governor Fletcher Requests Kentucky State Police to Investigate Allegations at Oakwood

Press Release Date:  Friday, June 16, 2006  
Contact Information:  Vikki Franklin, after-hours cell: (502)229-5604, or Gwenda Bond, after-hours cell: (502)229-6108,
office: (502)564-6786

Governor Ernie Fletcher today requested the Kentucky State Police to immediately launch an investigation into persistent allegations of abuse and neglect of clients at the Communities at Oakwood.

 “The Secretary and the Inspector General of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services briefed me today on a variety of extremely serious and troubling allegations of physical and mental abuse of Oakwood residents,” Governor Fletcher said.  “In light of those concerns, coupled with a long-standing history of problems at Oakwood preceding this administration, I feel that it is critical for the Kentucky State Police to step in to conduct a thorough investigation. This will help to protect the residents and to ensure that those responsible for any abuse and neglect are identified.

“I cannot and will not tolerate any mistreatment of those in our care.”

The Communities at Oakwood is a state-operated facility in Somerset for people with mental retardation operated by the Department for Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services (MH/MR) within CHFS. Since Jan. 1, 2005, the facility has received 18 Type A citations from the Office of Inspector General.

Governor Fletcher has also encouraged the KSP to invite the Attorney General’s office to join the investigation. “We must apply all of our available law enforcement resources to make sure this vulnerable population is protected,” Governor Fletcher said.

“This investigation also ensures that wrong-doers are identified and removed from the facility quickly and provides a sense of security and protection for those cooperating with the investigations,” he said.

"The Kentucky State Police shares Governor Fletcher's concerns regarding alleged criminal activity at Oakwood," advised KSP Commissioner Mark L. Miller.  "Our agency continues to actively investigate criminal complaints and will cooperate with regulatory agencies regarding our findings.  I encourage anyone with information regarding suspected criminal activity to contact the Kentucky State Police to ensure every complaint is fully investigated."

Oakwood serves 260 people with mental retardation.



Last Updated 8/10/2006