Gov. Matt Mead toured the Wyoming Life Resource Center two days after an advocacy group published a report suggesting the facility poses a risk to its residents.
But that visit had been planned for weeks before the report, Mead’s spokesman, Renny MacKay, said Wednesday. The report claims old and poorly maintained buildings present a significant risk to residents.
Lawmakers earlier this year directed Wyoming health officials to study the center. There has also been an ongoing debate about a state program that funds disability services.
Amid those discussions, Mead wanted to see the center himself, MacKay said.
Mead received a letter from the Wyoming Protection & Advocacy System Inc., the group that published the report in July. The governor has been receiving updates on the situation and is confident in Wyoming Health Department Director Tom Forslund’s oversight, MacKay said.
Rep. Elaine Harvey, who chairs the legislative committee that studies health issues, learned about the report after someone told her it was posted by a group on Facebook. If Protection & Advocacy submits the document to the health committee, Harvey believes an investigation should be performed.
Harvey said she was disappointed to read about allegations the staff failed to properly secure things at the facility. But closing down the center isn’t a realistic option.
“It’s a safety net for people who have nowhere else to go,” she said.