Patrick disciplines officials over patient’s death

hospital sign

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick has announced disciplinary measures over the death in 2009 of a mental health patient at Bridgewater State Hospital.

Patrick announced Saturday he reprimanded Correction Commissioner Luis S. Spencer for inaction in the wake of Joshua Messier’s death, which was ruled a homicide.

The Boston Globe reports that the governor’s public safety secretary also called for the resignation of Assistant Deputy Commissioner Karen Hetherson for overruling an internal report citing two guards for misconduct.

Patrick placed three guards on paid administrative leave, saying at least two should face disciplinary proceedings for improper use of force against the handcuffed Messier. He suffered a heart attack after guards pushed his chest almost to his knees.

He says the third guard should be disciplined for failing to properly supervise other guards.

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