Inviting the public to join them for the Department of State Hospital Housing meeting Aug. 21

Placer County District Attorney and Placer County Sheriff Offices invite the public to join them for the Department of State Hospital Housing meeting Aug. 21; press conference to follow  

PLACER COUNTY, Calif. – The Placer County District Attorney’s Office and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office are inviting the community and media to join them for the Department of State Hospitals SVP Housing meeting on Aug. 21.  

Both offices will be at the designated Placer County meeting space at the Placer County Community Development Agency located at 3091 County Center Drive in Auburn 

“The Department of State Hospitals is seeking to exclude and marginalize the very voices they are obligated to listen to – the Placer County community,” said Placer County District Attorney Morgan Gire. “As public servants, they are legally required to hold open meetings as the residents have a right to know about important decisions being made in their communities. Moreover, the Department of State Hospitals should seek and embrace the input from our community but instead, has sought to prevent access and participation at every step.  We will continue to challenge DSH until they operate with the openness and transparency our residents deserve.”   

“Protecting and serving our community is our sole priority. We continue to stand firmly against SVP Stephenson’s transient release into society, as his violent sexual history is a threat to our community. The state’s failure to secure suitable housing for Stephenson before his release is highly concerning. I implore our residents to stand up with us to fight Stephenson’s transient release. We are committed to upholding Placer County’s safety and maintaining the high quality of life our residents deserve, and Stephenson has no place living in a free society,” said Placer County Sheriff Wayne Woo. 

DSH has indicated that “not that many residents” attend these meetings and their previous meetings didn’t have a high attendance – which is being perceived as low public interest. Placer County disagrees. Placer County had requested times and locations that will provide the most access to community residents in which DSH has either denied or opted not to attend in person.  

Further, the Department of State Hospitals is attempting to restrict information from the public and media by conducting much of the meeting in closed session, excluding the public, and requesting a protective order through the court which would prevent disclosure of all information from the closed meetingThe District Attorney’s Office has provided written opposition to the request as well as submitted an opposition letter to the Department of State Hospitals.    

Currently, pursuant to DSH rules, the meeting will start with a closed session, which will exclude the public.  Placer County vehemently opposes this.  Following the closed session, DSH will then open the meeting to public comment.  DSH has limited individual comments to two minutes per person. DSH has also limited the Placer County meeting to only two hours in total, one hour less than the other two counties who have had these meetings so far.  

The offices are inviting the media to join them at a press conference following the meeting.