Virginia’s mental health inspector resigns over Deeds report

Posted at 10:49 AM, Mar 05, 2014

The man helping Virginia’s top investigator improve the state’s mental health system has resigned, and said his bosses altered his findings.

Douglas Bevelacqua oversaw investigations done by the Office of the State Inspector General (OSIG) related to mental health services as the Director of the Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Division.

He abruptly resigned on March 1 in a letter sent to Governor Terry McAuliffe.

In his resignation letter, Bevelacqua said leadership at the OSIG said his division reports were “too emotional,” “incendiary,” and “editorialized,” so they repeatedly changed the content and form of the work.

One of Bevelacqua’s reports involved the probe into the suicide of Senator Creigh Deeds’ son just hours after a mental health evaluation.

It has yet to be released, and Bevelacqua said it should have been issued weeks ago.

He also said important conclusions were removed from the report, including a statement made by Deeds himself that the “system failed that day.”

After learning about Bevelacqua’s resignation, Deeds told the Virginian-Pilot that “It would be a grave disappointment to me if the investigation were sanitized.”

WTVR contacted Bevelacqua’s boss, State Inspector General Mike Morehart, for his reaction to the resignation, but he declined the request for an interview and said he cannot talk about personnel matters.