Court commissioner delays sending Western State Hospital CEO to jail

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A Pierce County court commissioner on Tuesday issued a one-week delay of an order that could result in the new head of Western State Hospital being jailed.

Commissioner Craig Adams last week found Cheryl Strange, the psychiatric hospital’s CEO, in contempt of court, and demanded that she either admit a patient — as previously ordered — or report to jail by noon Wednesday.

But on Tuesday, Adams stayed the order until June 21 after the Attorney General’s Office appealed.

The patient in question has been held in a general hospital because, Strange said, there isn’t enough staff at Western State. Strange has said she doesn’t plan to move the man up the waiting list for beds at Western State because other patients may be sicker and have priority.

Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Strange to take over the troubled hospital in April.