Federal report of ignored abuse and 133 deaths of people with developmental disabilities under Mayhew’s DHHS

By Ramona du Houx

As Commissioner Mary Mayhew was responsible for the care of 133 people with developmental disabilities who died under state care with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). 

According to a federal investigation outlined in a report published in August of 2017 the deaths happened between 2013 and 2015 and Mayhew’s DHHS failed to investigate them.

The report also detailed that Mayhew’s DHHS received 296 reports of suspected sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of developmentally disabled people, but only investigated 5 of them. Most likely there are abusers living everyday lives in Maine because of Mayhew’s DHHS.

Mayhew also  was in charge of DHHS when the department spent more $13.4 million in federal welfare funds unlawfully in 2015 and 2016. Federal law requires that states use the money on programs or services for low-income families with children. The funds were used for the elderly,  disabled and Meals on Wheels. The state cut backs to DHHS services caused a short fall and they apparently scrambled, missusing federal funds.

Mayhew was a lobbyist before she took the helm of DHHS and it’s 3,400 employees.

Mayhew needs to be held accountable for the lost lives of 133 people and possible sexual predators still at large and for other atrocities at DHHS while she was commissioner.

They include:

  • Mayhew was also responsible for the Alexander Report which was awarded with no competitive bid. That report was full of plagiarized pages and lies. 
  • Under Mayhew’s DHHS Maine has been forced to pay millions in fines for using federal funds for other purposes than they were awarded.
  • The fiasco of mismanagement that put lives in danger at Riverview, Augusta’s mental hospital, could have been avoided if her DHHS would have complied with the federal government’s requirements. 
  • With an average of one person dyeing from the opioid epidemic in Maine everyday, Mayhew has been negligent in addressing this crisis. DHHS under her tenure defunded critical programs that would have saved lives. 

Mayhew resigned from the DHHS just before the federal report was released. She is a candidate running for Governor in the Republican primary.