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Hawaii senators grill state hospital administrator

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Lawmakers quizzed the acting Hawaii State Hospital administrator in a hearing to investigate accounts of violence and mismanagement at the facility.

State senators on Wednesday pushed William Elliott to explain hiring practices at the psychiatric hospital. They also questioned his qualifications for overseeing the hospital and probed possible nepotism in hiring.

Hospital workers have come forward in recent months with accounts of frequent violent attacks by patients. They’ve said that low staffing contributes to danger for workers at the hospital.

Elliott says there are about 60 full-time jobs that remain open at the hospital. He said most of those positions are covered by temporary hires through a staffing agency.

Elliott himself has been covering two administrative jobs at the hospital for more than a year.

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