Former Security Hospital head still getting paid

Hospital administrator
David Proffitt, the controversial former administrator of the state's largest facility for the mentally ill and dangerous.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

David Proffitt, the embattled former administrator of Minnesota's largest facility for those deemed mentally ill and dangerous, remains on the state payroll, the Department of Human Services confirmed Wednesday.

Proffitt held the top job at the Minnesota Security Hospital for less than seven months when DHS Deputy Commissioner Anne Barry ordered him to either resign or be fired in late March.

Although DHS has hired a new administrator to run the St. Peter facility, the agency is paying Proffitt $41.85 an hour to serve as a temporary consultant during the transition period. The wage is about ten dollars an hour less than what Proffitt earned when he ran the facility.

The temporary position will end June 26, the agency said. By that time, according to DHS figures, Proffitt will have earned at least $20,000 as a consultant.

The decision to ask Proffitt to resign as administrator of the Minnesota Security Hospital came after months of complaints from employees who alleged Proffitt was a disorganized and erratic leader who frequently yelled at meetings and threatened to fire those who disagreed with him. The turmoil culminated in the departure of most of the facility's psychiatrists, who alleged Proffitt created a hostile work environment.

An investigation completed by a private law firm at the request of DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson found no evidence of a hostile work environment, but it did find problems with Proffitt's leadership style. The agency decided to ask Proffitt to resign based on the concerns outlined in the report, said DHS Deputy Commissioner Anne Barry.

An MPR News investigation found Proffitt had similar problems at his previous job as a hospital administrator in Maine. The MPR report also found Proffitt was arrested for domestic violence in 1992. Proffitt has declined to comment on the allegations.

Hospital at Risk:
Danger and Dysfunction at the Minnesota Security Hospital
State facility for the mentally ill risks losing license over turmoil
―Published: Feb. 28, 2012
Data: Violence, restraints common at Minnesota Security Hospital
―Published: Feb. 28, 2012
David Proffitt, head of Minnesota Security Hospital, resigns at state's request
―Published: March 27, 2012
Former Minn. Security Hospital leader's 'extremely assertive' style rankled some
―Published: March 28, 2012
State failed to review troubled past of ousted Minn. Security Hospital administrator
―Published: March 30, 2012
Auditor to look at agency's hiring practices in wake of Proffitt dismissal
―Published: April 2, 2012
Former Security Hospital head still getting paid
―Published: April 12, 2012
After complaints, MN Security Hospital inspected
―Published: April 13, 2012
Plan gives DHS more oversight in state mental health services
―Published: April 20, 2012
Funding for St. Peter hospital renovations in doubt
―Published: April 27, 2012
Security hospital worker 'emotionally abused' patient
―Published: May 1, 2012
Security Hospital in line for fraction of funding request
―Published: May 4, 2012
State investigating Security Hospital's handling of missing patient, stabbing
―Published: May 9, 2012
Investigation shows complexity of caring for the state's most violent and mentally ill adults
―Published: June 8, 2012
DHS confirms resignation of executive
―Published: Aug. 23, 2012
More injured employees, fewer doctors at Minnesota Security Hospital
―Published: Aug. 29, 2012
Minn. moves mentally ill patients to avoid legal action
―Published: Dec. 14, 2012