Mike Koozmin/2013 file photoSheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s department fired one person and took disciplinary action against seven others in the wake of Lynne Spalding’s death at San Francisco General Hospital.

Punishment meted out for hospital security staff in Lynne Spalding case

One Sheriff's Department staff member has been fired in relation to a San Francisco General Hospital patient's disappearance and death, two have been suspended and another five face ongoing disciplinary actions, the department revealed to The San Francisco Examiner.

Until now, little news has surfaced of anyone involved in Lynne Spalding's 2013 disappearance and subsequent death facing serious consequences other than reassignment.

Spalding, a British citizen who was admitted to General Hospital on Sept. 19, 2013, for treatment of an infection and went missing two days later, was found dead in an emergency stairwell after 17 days.

The Sheriff's Department, which did not release the names or ranks of the disciplined security staff, is the only body involved that has punished anyone regarding the disappearance and failed search effort.

No hospital medical staffers have been disciplined as a result of Spalding's disappearance, according to a spokesperson from the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Since Spalding's death, the hospital has increased security measures, beefed up its protocol for dealing with missing patients after several investigations were completed and found almost everyone involved had culpability.

The news of some punishment finally being meted out, said Bill Spalding, Lynne Spalding's twin brother, is too little and too late.

“The nameless and the blameless, I call them, and all of them shameless,” he told The Examiner in an email. “Names — that is the only thing that will convince the people of The City and the family and friends of Lynne that any real steps have been taken to punish those with blood on their hands.”

He added: “The ritual exposure of the guilty to public scrutiny and contempt is a standard of any punishment in any society in any era. If she'd been run down by a San Francisco public transport driver everyone in San Francisco would know that person's name…. Names, show us names, who, why and when.”

Mark Casey, Spalding's boyfriend at the time of her death, said he's glad someone is facing some consequences.

“Even though the discipline of the deputies involved will not bring two devastated children back their beautiful mother, holding the San Francisco Sheriff's Department accountable for their incompetence is a step in the right direction,” he said. “When Lynne Spalding's daughter and I brought her to San Francisco General Hospital, we assumed that she would be safe and getting the care she deserved. Both the San Francisco Sheriffs Department and San Francisco General Hospital failed to do this.”

Spalding's family has sued The City regarding the incident. Their lawyer did not return several calls for comment, nor did the British consulate.

Spalding aftermath

The Sheriff's Department has taken action with personnel for their roles surrounding the death of Lynne Spalding.

Fired: One in January

Suspensions: One in February and another in March.

Also: Five more individuals await an outcome in their discipline.

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