VENTURA COUNTY: Mental Health Board Member Wants to ‘Un-Resign’
Months after a flap over the ouster of its chair, the Ventura County Mental Health Board "has a new controversy" regarding whether one of its members can un-resign her position, the Los Angeles Times reports. Lisa Biejo, known to deliver "scathing admonishments of government officials," resigned last month after clashing with board members after they rejected her chairmanship bid. After cooling down, she wrote to the board announcing she was reconsidering her decision, but some have been "reluctant to welcome her back." Board member Cathleen Higgins said, "She resigned in the meeting. Please! The things that woman has done are just incorrigible." Board chair Neal Andrews Tuesday said he has directed county counsel Jim McBride to see if Biejo can "revoke her own decision." Supervisor John Flynn, however, explained that he would like to see Biejo stay on: "I think she offers a point of view that needs to be on the board." Internal politics have plagued the board recently. Last September the board's chair, John Chaudier, was ousted by supervisors for his role in the ill-fated merger of the county's health and social service departments. Biejo had pushed for Chaudier's ouster, contending that he "let politics get in the way of his job." Biejo maintains that her resignation was a "hasty move made in the throes of humiliation," in which she says board members accused her of "making baseless complaints against other members." Biejo said, "I grabbed my things and said, 'That's it, I quit.'" She added, "But I can never quit my advocacy for the mentally ill. They cannot accept my resignation. All I want is to make a difference" (Talev, 3/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.