’Leaders' dump patients and lawsuit

Nevada officials have agreed to pay $400,000 to the city of San Francisco in settlement of a lawsuit over 24 mental patients dumped in that city by Nevada. The state's conduct was discovered and reported by the Sacramento Bee, which found more than 1,500 cases of dumping around the nation through the use of one-way bus tickets.

The scandal was deemphasized in Nevada news coverage, likely because the story was broken by an out-of-state press entity. Neither the state or officials of Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Clark County—where the patients had been housed—were highly visible in dealing with the case. Gov. Brian Sandoval initially addressed the matter through spokespeople and prepared statements and commented personally only when confronted by a TV news crew at a public event—and then he defended the practice as “good quality of care.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune last week editorialized, “We comment regularly on government actions that are ill-considered, poorly handled or of questionable value. But rarely is our target simply obnoxious. But that's the best description for what's been done by a psychiatric hospital in Las Vegas operated by the state of Nevada. … This was not Nevada's finest hour.”