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Commissioner again delays sending Western State Hospital CEO to jail

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Photo Cheryl Strange from

SEATTLE (AP) — A Pierce County court commissioner has put on hold a contempt order that would have sent the CEO of Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital to jail for failing to hospitalize a patient.

Kathy Spears, a spokeswoman for the agency that oversees Western State Hospital, said Commissioner Craig Adams has stayed the order that would have put CEO Cheryl Strange behind bars.

Adams had ordered Strange to admit a certain patient who had been waiting for treatment for a lengthy period. Strange has refused to move the patient ahead of others on the waitlist.

Strange faced a deadline last week but Adams stayed the order after the state Attorney General’s Office filed an appeal.

Spears says the state’s motion to stop the process for jail and penalties was granted Monday morning in Pierce County Superior Court.

She says their legal team will determine next steps.