Letters to the Editor

Don’t blame Sheriff’s Office for Andrew Holland’s death

Greg Clayton (candidate for sheriff) is trying to take advantage of the slanted news coverage by this newspaper. This paper attempts to make it look like Andrew Holland’s death was the fault of the SLO County Jail. Blaming the Sheriff’s Office is totally off-base. Here are the facts:

When Andrew Holland started injuring himself at the County Jail it was a Friday. The Sheriff’s Office contacted Mental Health multiple times requesting to transfer him. Mental Health refused to accept him with a claim they were at “capacity.” That was untrue. Beds were available. They were under-staffed during the weekend and knew Holland would be a behavioral problem at Mental Health. Back at the jail, the staff followed written “protocol” perfectly until Holland’s tragic death. Ian Parkinson and the County Jail certainly should not be blamed for Holland’s death.

It is crucial to note that it was not the general liability insurance that covers the jail that paid this multi-million-dollar judgment. It was the medical malpractice insurance of county Mental Health that paid the settlement. Blame for this death lies squarely in the lap of the Mental Health Department.

Melvin de la Motte Jr., San Luis Obispo