The chief executive at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center, who is on leave after being accused of threatening behavior, agreed Wednesday to stay away from other staff for the next six months.

Dr. Scott Moran appeared at a hearing in the Maryland District Court in Catonsville to determine if extended protection was necessary, and he consented to a peace order without the judge ruling and without admitting to the allegations.

An initial peace order against Moran was issued Feb. 7 at the request of two staffers in the state’s public health care system. One is a nursing official at Perkins, the state’s maximum-security forensic psychiatric hospital, and the other an administrator in the system.

Moran was unable to attend the initial hearing because officials said he had been hospitalized. Court documents show Moran was taken to a Montgomery County hospital near his Silver Spring home, and was transferred to a Baltimore-area hospital.

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Another hearing scheduled for a week ago was postponed until Wednesday because the staff’s lawyer was ill.

Under the order, Moran is not allowed at Perkins or the rest of the state’s public psychiatric hospitals. He must also stay away from the office complex housing the Maryland Department of Health in Baltimore. He said he no longer owns guns, but volunteered not to possess one for the next six months.

A lawyer for Moran, James Rubin, said during the hearing there was an “employment law dispute” that remains to be resolved. He would not elaborate after the hearing, nor would Chase Cook, a spokesman for the health department.

Cook said Moran remains on leave following the initial peace order. Currently serving as Perkins CEO is Dwain Shaw, who is a deputy director in the health care system that oversees the hospitals.

Moran was hired in October 2019, health officials said.

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Two employees who petitioned for the order reported that Moran “has been using electronic methods to harass and threaten” subordinates. The order also says he is “believed to be in possession of weapons.”

In their petition, the employees accused Moran of sending messages including “You don’t know what I used to do in the military,” and “You’re gonna be in trouble and you’re gonna get Moran’d.” There was explicit language used in other messages, and some that were “racially suggestive,” the petition said.

Cook wouldn’t comment after the latest hearing on any other personnel matters, but said after the initial peace order the department “is dedicated to treating its patients in a safe and therapeutic environment. The Department is fully dedicated to the safety and security of our employees as well as the patients that we serve at Clifton T. Perkins and throughout the Department’s Healthcare System.”

In Maryland, forensic hospitals like Perkins house those who have been accused of serious offenses, including rape and murder, and are being evaluated before standing trial or were deemed unable to stand trial.

Staff members at Perkins have reported a climate of fear over the years, though most documented assaults are by patients.

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Documents provided by the health department show an acceptable rate of patient-to-staff assaults should be less than one per 1,000 patient days. A patient day is a unit of measure accounting for each day that each person is in the hospital.

Last year, the rate was 1.23 at Perkins. It had been just below the threshold for four previous years.

Spring Grove Hospital Center, a state-run psychiatric hospital in Catonsville, had a rate of 1.12 per 1,000 patient days. The only other public hospitals with a rate above 1 were juvenile centers.

The documents include other performance measures such as staff training, patient medication errors and patient restraint hours. There were no fatalities at Perkins in the past five years, the documents said, though previously the hospital has reported homicides, including two in 2011 where patients killed other patients.

Moran was not accused of assault.

Online records kept by the Maryland Board of Physicians show Moran has an active medical license and was trained in psychiatry, neurology and forensic psychiatry. He received training at two Army medical centers in Hawaii and Georgia. He has no medical disciplinary actions listed.

Meredith Cohn is a health and medicine reporter for The Baltimore Banner, covering the latest research, public health developments and other news. She has been covering the beat in Baltimore for more than two decades.

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