Former Acadia Hospital CEO Proffitt still getting paid despite forced resignation from Minn hospital

Posted April 12, 2012, at 1:48 p.m.
David Proffitt
David Proffitt

ST. PAUL, Minn. — David Proffitt, the embattled former administrator of Minnesota’s largest facility for those deemed mentally ill and dangerous, remains on the state payroll, the Department of Human Services confirmed Wednesday.

Proffitt held the top job at the Minnesota Security Hospital for less than seven months when DHS Deputy Commissioner Anne Barry ordered him to either resign or be fired in late March.

Although DHS has hired a new administrator to run the St. Peter facility, the agency is paying Proffitt $41.85 an hour to serve as a temporary consultant during the transition period. The wage is about 10 dollars an hour less than what Proffitt earned when he ran the facility.

The temporary position will end June 26, the agency said. By that time, according to DHS figures, Proffitt will have earned at least $20,000 as a consultant.

The decision to ask Proffitt to resign as administrator of the Minnesota Security Hospital came after months of complaints from employees who alleged Proffitt was a disorganized and erratic leader who frequently yelled at meetings and threatened to fire those who disagreed with him.

The turmoil culminated in the departure of most of the facility’s psychiatrists, who alleged Proffitt created a hostile work environment.

An investigation completed by a private law firm at the request of DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson found no evidence of a hostile work environment, but it did find problems with Proffitt’s leadership style. The agency decided to ask Proffitt to resign based on the concerns outlined in the report, said DHS Deputy Commissioner Anne Barry.

An MPR News investigation found Proffitt had similar problems at his previous job as a hospital administrator in Maine. The MPR report also found Proffitt was arrested for domestic violence in 1992. Proffitt has declined to comment on the allegations.

The original article may be seen on Minnesota Public Radio’s website at http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/04/12/former-minnesota-security-hospital-chief-pay/.

Copyright (c) 2012 Minnesota Public Radio. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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