The two top officials at Clover Bottom Developmental Center were fired Thursday and a third person contracted to provide behavioral services also was dismissed, reports The Tennessean.
The terminations follow a Tennessean story on Sunday that chronicled ongoing health and safety problems faced by the remaining 40 residents at Tennessee’s oldest institution for people with intellectual disabilities — more than four years after state officials pledged to shut it down. The Tennessean also reported on the high cost borne by taxpayers as a result of the delay in closing the institution. Tennessee taxpayers next year will foot the bill for what could be the nation’s costliest institutional care — more than half a million dollars per person living at Clover Bottom — to care for a small number of residents who have waited for years to be relocated into residential homes from a sprawling campus built to house 1,500.
Those affected by Thursday’s terminations were Chief Officer Stacey Dixon, who oversaw operations at the 90-year-old Donelson facility; Darla Goad, director of residential and case management services; and Jennifer Bruzek, who state officials said was a contract employee through Columbus, a behavioral services agency. The Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities has asked Columbus for a different behavioral analyst, spokeswoman Cara Kumari said.
DIDD officials did not comment on the reasons behind the dismissals beyond a statement that read: “This restructuring will align our staffing with those in the other regions, dedicating one person to oversight of Clover Bottom and the new Middle Tennessee Homes while also dedicating an administrator specific to the Harold Jordan Center.”