Thursday, May 27, 2010

County Officials Remain Mum on Death in Psychiatric Facility. More Corruption and cover up from Santa Barbara County

Only in Santa Barbara can the News Press keep a story like this from hitting the wire service. We must hold those responsible accountable to the laws of our land!
County Officials Remain Mum on Death in Psychiatric Facility

By Lara Cooper, Noozhawk Staff Writer
46-year-old Santa Maria man died in unit; cause of death pending

A Santa Maria man died last month at Santa Barbara County’s Psychiatric Health Facility, which is operated by the Department of Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services.

Sheriff’s Department officials have confirmed for Noozhawk that Clifford Detty, 46, of Santa Maria, died at 1:45 a.m. April 29 in the PHF unit, 315 Camino del Remedio in Santa Barbara. He was transported to the facility by Santa Maria police, but details surrounding his death are still unclear.

Sheriff’s spokesman Drew Sugars said last week that the department is awaiting Detty’s final toxicity screens, which will reveal the exact cause of death. Sugars said the results should be available within a few weeks. In the meantime, “we are investigating the manner and mode of death,” he said.

Noozhawk reached ADMHS executive director Ann Detrick on Thursday, but she said she could not release any information on the matter at this time.

The PHF facility where Detty died is a 16-bed compound and is the only place in the county for involuntary patients, defined as individuals who present a danger to others or themselves as a result of a mental illness.

Detty’s own obituary states that he died suddenly in “a Santa Barbara hospital” the night of April 29, but doesn’t go into specifics.

According to the obituary, Detty graduated from Santa Maria’s Righetti High School and attended Allan Hancock College and SBCC. It described him as an athlete and surfer who loved the outdoors and as a man who “did everything to the extreme and kept his parents breathless many times.”

— Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at

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I had shared a story about the Psychologist a Dr. Cordero who had been arrested over 3 years ago for sexually abusing a certain patient in the Santa Maria Mental Health facility.
There is more on Doctor Cordero and his crimes while treating patients as a Psychologist for Santa Barbara County below . You have no idea how sick I feel right now. I saw that the man who had died while under care was from Santa Maria but he was a patient in the same facility as me in the Santa Barbara location. An just like me it appears he was rushed to the hospital. I hope the Sheriffs will now take my report about my beatings and been kept against my will. Here is a copy of my billing for the services I received once at Cottage Hospital as well as a clean drug test. False claims were made and there was never any documented drug use with 3 random test!

Don't get me wrong the beatings I took were from sissy's and I am had it no where near as bad as others. However it is the abuse to your soul that I guess must feel like rape that haunts me.

Cordero gets seven years in prison
Samantha Yale Scroggin/Staff Writer | Posted: Saturday, August 15, 2009 12:00 am
A former Santa Barbara County psychologist convicted of sexual battery, sexual exploitation and dissuading a witness was sentenced Friday to the maximum possible term - seven years in state prison.
Fernando Cordero, 67, apologized to the victims during his sentencing hearing in Santa Maria, and asked for leniency, but Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge James Iwasko nonetheless handed down the strictest possible sentence.
Cordero, who worked as a psychologist with the county's Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services department, targeted women whom he was treating.
Before Iwasko sentenced Cordero, one of the victims and representatives speaking on behalf of other victims took turns before the court detailing the suffering Cordero had inflicted on those he took advantage of and their families.
A victim-witness advocate read a statement written by one of the victims, who said that in her grief she had wondered why she was alive, and now knows she lived to see Cordero be sentenced.
"This day belongs to us, the victims," the advocate read.
"I am your worst nightmare," she continued, addressing Cordero. "I am a survivor."
A Spanish-language court interpreter read a statement from one of the victims, who stood beside her.
Of all her abusers, Cordero was the most cruel, the victim said in the statement.
"You used me, and made me feel so bad," she said.
Cordero was convicted by a jury in April on four counts, including misdemeanor sexual battery by restraint, felony sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist or drug abuse counselor and two felony counts of attempting to dissuade a witness from reporting a crime after he had been released on bail following his arrest in November 2007.
Iwasko sentenced Cordero to three years in prison for the sexual exploitation charge, two years for the dissuading a witness counts and two years for a finding that he was out on bail when he dissuaded the witnesses. Cordero was also sentenced to 180 days in jail for the misdemeanor battery charge, but that sentence will be served concurrently with the prison time.
Cordero already has credit for 903 days in custody that will go towards his sentence.
The jury acquitted Cordero of four felony charges and one misdemeanor count, including sexual-assault charges and attempted sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist or drug abuse counselor.
The jury could not reach a verdict on three felony counts of sexual abuse and one misdemeanor count of attempted sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist or drug abuse counselor.
In May, Cordero appeared before Iwasko and pleaded guilty to the sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist or drug abuse counselor of another victim that he was not previously charged with sexual exploitation against.
In exchange for his plea agreement, Chief Trial Deputy Ann Bramsen dismissed the charges on which the jury could not reach a decision.
Cordero has not been employed by the county since December 2007, according to county spokesman William Boyer, who would not discuss the circumstances surrounding Cordero's departure.
He is not permitted to practice psychology, and must register as a sex offender.
In addition, a limited amount of discussion was held as to the possibility that Cordero could be deported when he is done serving his prison sentence due to his immigration status.
Cordero's attorney, Scott Wippert, had asked Iwasko to sentence his client to probation. Wippert said that the judge could not consider evidence pertaining to any counts that were dismissed or that Cordero was acquitted of while deciding Cordero's sentence.
Wippert pointed out that Cordero had no prior criminal history and was willing to comply with the terms of probation.
Cordero himself stood before the court and apologized to the victims and his family.
"I am deeply sorry to all the people that I have hurt," he said, adding that he was asking for their forgiveness.
He said he regretted his behavior, but that it was not done with malice.
"I have let down individuals and institutions, and I ask for their mercy."
He asked for leniency with sentencing in the interest of being able to help his family.
"I'm asking for a second opportunity to exercise my free will."
Iwasko echoed much of what Bramsen had said, which was that the victims were extremely vulnerable and that Cordero abused his position of trust as a psychologist.
Cordero committed his crimes with a high degree of callousness and sophistication, Iwasko said.
Outside court, one of the victims wept as she lamented what she thought was too short of a prison sentence for Cordero.
"That man took our lives," she said. "That man deserves more. He's a sick man."
August 15, 2009



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