Maine Acting DHHS Director Will Not Be Held In Contempt

Dec 21, 2018

A judge has found that the acting director of Maine's Department of Health and Human Services should not be held in contempt after a man in state care for mental health treatment spent weeks in Cumberland County jail.

In his order, unified criminal court Judge Jed French said because Joseph Llovera has already been placed at the state’s Riverview psychiatric center, there's no more the court can do.

Llovera's attorney Sarah Branch says she respects the ruling, but that it doesn't hold DHHS accountable for violating the judge's order to put Llovera in state care.

Branch also says that publicity around the problem of long wait times for state psychiatric care is a positive.

“Mainers are great. Ee care about our community, and I hope when they see vulnerable individuals with mental health issues are being treated this way, we will rally, and say we won't accept this as a community,” she says.

The Attorney General's office, which defended DHHS in court, said it has no comment, and dhhs could not be reached for a response.

Originally published Dec. 20, 2018 at 5:57 p.m. ET.