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Records: 1 fired, 4 suspended after mental patient’s death

August 8, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Records say the South Carolina Department of Mental Health fired at least one worker involved in the suffocation of a patient who died after trying to break a window and being piled on by employees.

The State newspaper reports state Department of Administration records detail the worker’s firing and the suspension of four others.

The records say an investigation into the January death of 35-year-old William Avant found the suspended workers violated policy, but concluded allegations of abuse weren’t substantiated. The workers returned, were retroactively suspended for a month and offered pay for other missed work.

The investigation’s findings on the fired employee and a contractor who left the agency the day Avant died remain secret. The obtained records didn’t include those findings and the health agency refused to release them.

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Information from: The State, http://www.thestate.com

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