EDITOR: John, your letter of 4-3-13 to the editor seemingly advocates for implementation of Laura’s Law, Assisted Outpatient Therapy, in El Dorado County.
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I commend you for your change of viewpoint. I was a member of the El Dorado County Mental Health Commission in 2008, a time when you were the El Dorado County Mental Health director and attended all Mental Health Commission meetings.
Laura’s Law was discussed during the MHC’s 2008 meetings of April 23, July 23, and Nov. 19. Many commissioners saw the good that would come from Laura’s Law and wanted it. You spoke very clearly against Laura’s Law: it would violate individuals’ rights; court ordered medication would be meaningless to the clients; too much paperwork required; not enough mental health staff; better to advocate gun control. Several of us clearly recall your objections.
In 2008 your advocacy for Laura’s Law could have helped bring about its implementation; the Board of Supervisors gives much weight to department heads’ opinions. Instead, we do not have Laura’s Law.
Since you helped prevent it and dashed many hopes, it is only fair you explain to the mental health community why your position has changed.