A restraining order was issued against the top official at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center for threatening other staff at the Jessup facility, the state’s maximum-security forensic psychiatric hospital, which has a history of violence against both patients and staff.

The order, first reported by the Washington Post, was issued Feb. 7 against Dr. Scott Moran, who was hired in October 2019 and served as chief executive officer. He was put on leave following the court order from the District Court of Maryland, state officials said.

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.”

Among the messages was, “You don’t know what I used to do in the military” and “You’re gonna be in troubled and you’re gonna get Moran’d.” There was explicit language used in other messages, and some that were “racially suggestive,” the documents say.

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Court documents say Moran, who lives in Silver Spring, was admitted to a hospital in Montgomery County and then transferred to another hospital in the Baltimore area. It wasn’t clear if he remained hospitalized. A phone number listed in court documents was disconnected.

Chase Cook, a health department spokesman, said the department doesn’t comment on personnel matters, “nor can it comment on patient health information.”

The department “is dedicated to treating its patients in a safe and therapeutic environment,” he said. “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.”

Online records kept by the Maryland Board of Physicians show Moran has an active medical license and was trained in psychiatry, neurology, forensic psychiatry and received training at two Army medical centers in Hawaii and Georgia.

He has no medical disciplinary actions listed.

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Forensic hospitals in Maryland house those who have been accused of a serious offense, including rape and murder, and are being evaluated before standing trial or were deemed unable to stand trial.

Staff has reported a climate of fear over the years working at Perkins. Media reports over time have documented patients assaulting patients and staff, as well as patients killing other patients. Staff also at times have been dismissed or charged with using excessive force.

Two killings of patients were reported in 2011, for example. Cook couldn’t immediately provide more recent data on violence against patients or staff.

Cook said Dwain Shaw will serve in the role of CEO for Perkins.


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