ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Office of the Legislative Auditor has launched a review of the hiring policies of the Minnesota Department of Human Services after an MPR News report found lapses in the hiring of David Proffitt to head the state’s largest facility for the mentally ill and dangerous.

The MPR News report found the department hired Proffitt to run the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter, Minn., without conducting a thorough investigation of his troubled past. The agency’s search failed to turn up an arrest for domestic violence and a string of problems at Proffitt’s previous employer.

Proffitt was asked to resign from the Minnesota Security Hospital on March 27 after a separate investigation found problems with his leadership style.

“This was a very high level, very important, very sensitive appointment and position to fill,” said Jim Nobles, the legislative auditor. “And what has been revealed through the story that is on the Minnesota Public Radio website with the documents that have been uncovered, I think really heightens the concern and very much makes it a part of the agenda that we will pursue.”

Nobles and his staff will interview DHS officials, frontline staff and clients, and review documents stretching back several years as part of a broader evaluation of all State Operated Services that had been planned for this year.

The office has not yet decided what other items will be evaluated as part of the review. Nobles said he expects a final report to be completed by February 2013.

DHS Deputy Commissioner Anne Barry says the agency welcomes the review and looks forward to the office’s recommendations.

The original article may be seen on Minnesota Public Radio’s website at

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