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New Tuolumne Behavioral Health Director Fired

Sonora, CA — Just a week after hiring Dr. Eric Emery as the new Tuolumne County Behavioral Health Director he was abruptly dismissed by the board of supervisors.

The board called a special meeting this morning and convened into closed session. Dr. Emery’s dismissal was the only item on the agenda.

County Administrator Craig Pedro has issued a statement reading, “Consistent with our practice, the county will not be providing any additional comments related to this personnel matter. I will be recommending that the board reappoint Assistant Human Service Agency Director Steve Boyack as Interim Behavioral Health Director until such time that a new Behavioral Health Director can be hired.”

Dr. Emery was still in the midst of his probationary period with the county. Reportedly, something was learned by county officials over the past week that was not known during the hiring process, but it is unclear the specifics.

Prior to the board going into closed session, Dr. Emery stated in the public comment period that he took the job in good faith, resigning as deputy director of Behavioral Health in Plumas County, and has been doing the job to the best of his abilities. He indicated that he was unclear exactly as to why he was being dismissed, but stated the information provided was likely “false and misleading” He encouraged the board to reach out to other officials in Plumas County before making a decision. He added that he was selected following a “rigorous” vetting process.

The board came out of closed session and voted 4-0 to dismiss Emery. The motion was made by supervisor Karl Rodefer and seconded by supervisor Randy Hanvelt. Supervisor Evan Royce was absent.

When Dr. Emery was hired a week ago Tuesday, with a 5-0 board vote, it was noted that he has 45 years of experience in the behavioral health field. Click here to view the earlier story.