ANCHORAGE (AP) -- John Richard, former chief municipal prosecutor in Anchorage, is the new long term care ombudsman for Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority.
The position is the state's official watchdog for the elderly. Last month it was transferred to the mental health trust authority -- part of the state Department of Revenue -- under an executive order by Gov. Tony Knowles.
In recent years the office of the long-term care ombudsman has been hurt by reports of interference with investigations.
Before its transfer, the ombudsman and the state Pioneers' Homes which the ombudsman oversees were both part of the state Department of Administration.
Richard started in his new job April 19. He replaces acting ombudsman Suzan Armstrong, who returned to the assistant ombudsman position she had held until ombudsman Kim Kline resigned in November after four months on the job. Kline had replaced Frances Purdy, who had run-ins with other state officials.
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