“State Hospitals in Shambles”
January 05, 2017
It was the escape of a man who had chopped up his wife that led us on a 2-year investigation. Gary Ligone took off from the San Antonio State Hospital but as we soon uncovered through many open records request, he wasn’t the only one. In fact, 28 Forensic and Civil patients had escaped in one year alone from the San Antonio State Hospital. In emails Fox San Antonio obtained between the judge who sends Forensic Patients to the State Hospital and the Administrator in San Antonio we unveil firsthand the fear this judge has that someone in the community may be killed during one of those escapes.
And that’s not all uncovered, low staffing, a lack of security and a lack of accountability for the death of a patient. Our reports brought on change that according to Commissioner Chico Rodriguez made Fox San Antonio a new defender for the South Side. Last year the legislature gave the County and Department of Health and Human Services the green light and money to start planning for 2 new facilities where old ones exist. One of those is the San Antonio State Hospital. Also, under consideration now is allowing a mixture of Bexar County, The Center For Health Care Services and University Health Systems control of how the new San Antonio State Hospital is run. The number of escapes at the San Antonio State Hospital dropped to less than 10 after the first year of our stories aired.
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Submitted by Bryan Eckert.