Saratoga County Mental Health Clinic
By Dennis Yusko
A view of the Saratoga County Mental Health Center, on South Broadway seen here on Monday, June 1, 2015, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (Paul Buckowski / Times Union)
Photo: PAUL BUCKOWSKI
Photo: PAUL BUCKOWSKI
Photo: PAUL BUCKOWSKI
A handful of doctors have resigned from the clinic and employees have criticized work conditions under Michael Prezioso, a psychologist who county supervisors appointed mental health director last fall, Civil Service Employees Association representatives said.
"We have heard from members who have expressed concern about clinic operations in light of the fact that there's less psychiatrists on staff, " CSEA spokeswoman Therese Assalian said. Union leaders met with county managers to express their concerns, she said.
One worker at the clinic, who refused to be identified out of concern for their employment, said a divisive atmosphere developed at the clinic in the weeks after Prezioso assumed the top post last fall, and it's worsened in recent weeks.
"It's been hard working here, and I find the environment unpleasant and very stressful, " the employee said in a prepared statement vetted by CSEA.
There have been calls for Prezioso's possible replacement from concerned residents and at least one Saratoga Springs city official.
The facility provides outpatient mental health and alcohol/drug treatment services.
Prezioso, 52, is paid nearly $100, 000 a year and oversees the department's approximately 55 employees.
He lives in Burnt Hills, serves as chairman of the Ballston Ethics Board and worked for 17 years at the Capital District Psychiatric Center in Albany. In April, the Times Union revealed that a 2008 state Office of Mental Health investigation found Prezioso sexually harassed a female subordinate, Heidi DiTonno, for more than a year while working at the CDPC. Prezioso denied the allegations in a 2009 legal deposition, but the state Office of Mental Health paid DiTonno $7, 500 to settle the harassment case, according to records.
DiTonno also alleged Prezioso retaliated against her on the job after she rejected unwelcome sexual advances and filed the complaint. The state's internal investigation concluded that charge was "inconclusive." She ultimately lost her job in 2012.
Prezioso did not respond last week to requests for an interview about conditions at the mental health center on South Broadway.
In recent weeks, a growing number of people have written to county supervisors and the media to object to Prezioso's management style. Others have asked for an investigation into the state's determination of past misconduct.
Ann Diller of Gansevoort, who formerly worked at CDPC and the county Mental Health Center as a licensed clinical social worker, told the county Board of Supervisors in a letter that the clinic was "falling apart" under Prezioso, with three doctors resigning in recent weeks because they found him difficult to work with and two clinicians preparing to follow.
"I knew him at CDPC and feared he would re-create the toxic atmosphere that existed there in our county, and he has done so, " Diller wrote. "The sense of teamwork and support of fellow clinicians is gone, replaced by fear and unease."
Citing the state's sexual harassment finding, Jane Weihe of Saratoga Springs recently called on county officials to replace Prezioso. "The mentally ill patients served by the county mental health unit are among the most vulnerable people in our community, " wrote Weihe, who has been active in city politics for years.good deeds on bounce tv good deeds on youtube good deeds outside good deeds pay off quotes good deeds song good deeds store good deeds time after time good deeds will be rewarded good things to put in front of your username gopro enthusiasts lacking enthusiasm after a bad experience lacking experience learner enthusiast opposite of enthusiasm crossword our best deeds are as filthy rags our good deeds like filthy rags scrap quilt enthusiasts slate quarry enthusiasts the enthusiast network things to put after your username what does god say about good deeds what is the difference between enthusiasm and enthusiastic what to do when you have no enthusiasm why do i lack enthusiasm enthusiasm about teaching enthusiasm and optimism enthusiasm as a skill enthusiasm as a strength interview enthusiasm characteristics enthusiasm crossword clue 4 letters enthusiasm during interview enthusiasm for learning enthusiasm gap enthusiasm has waned enthusiasm history of word enthusiasm jincheng zhang enthusiasm leadership traits enthusiasm ne demek enthusiasm of youth enthusiasm show enthusiasm towards someone enthusiasm untouchables enthusiasm vs excitement enthusiast cars enthusiast daily driver enthusiast headphones enthusiast of many things enthusiast other words enthusiasts wine famous car enthusiasts quotes good deed mean good deeds beget good deeds good deeds by frank good deeds by sasikanth good deeds by tyler perry good deeds for family good deeds heaven good deeds home inspections good deeds karma quotes good deeds land surveying good deeds michael oher good deeds quran verses good deeds to do in school good deeds will not save you mac enthusiasts on pico opposite of enthusiast under enthusiasm young enthusiasts can you be too enthusiastic in an interview curb your enthusiasm outtakes drone enthusiasts near me enthusiasm about life enthusiasm as a strength interview enthusiasm dictionary enthusiasm into urdu enthusiasm is like a catalyst enthusiasm original meaning enthusiast cars under 10k enthusiasts of ruin good deeds cast tyler perry good deeds examples good deeds gone unpunished good deeds good thoughts good words good deeds lace up dress good deeds nashua good deeds residential good deeds with example yeovilton enthusiasts difference between enthusiasm and passion enthusiasm activities enthusiasm and excitement enthusiasm for enthusiasm how to pronounce enthusiasm into action enthusiasm job interview enthusiasm meaning in english enthusiasm of entrepreneur enthusiasm of meaning in urdu enthusiasm root word enthusiasm towards his work enthusiasm towards synonym enthusiast desk mat good deeds tyler perry thinking for a change worksheets thinking for a change curriculum thinking for a change class online thinking for yourself quotes thinking from first principles thinking from a to z thinking from the end thinking from the middle thinking from different perspectives thinking from the underside of history thinking from others perspective thinking from first principles book thinking in between thinking in between thinking in front of computer meme thinking in front of head