McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Police/Courts

April 15, 2013

Legislation regulating Narconon Arrowhead one step closer to Governor's desk

McALESTER — A bill regulating Narconon Arrowhead and other drug rehabs is one step closer to becoming law.

Legislation regulating Narconon Arrowhead and other drug rehabs  has passed the House and will head to the Senate for one more vote before it hits the Govenors desk, according to state offiials.

Senate bill 295 passed the House 80 to 13 today and will now go before the Senate one last time before it's presented to Gov. Mary Fallin for signing.

Narconon Arrowhead is a non-profit drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Canadian affiliated with the Church of Scientology.

Narconon Arrowhead has faced a number of lawsuits and was under a multi-agency investigation since the July 19 death of Stacy Dawn Murphy, 20, of Owasso, by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Mental Health.

Since her death, the investigation expanded the 2012 deaths of two others found dead at the facility within nine months; Hillary Holten, 21 Gabriel Graves, 32, and the 2009 death of Kaysie Dianne Werninck, 28. Werninck died at a local hospital while a patient of Narconon Arrowhead.

Dist. 18 District Attorney Farley Ward is still reviewing the case and no charges have been filed.

Last year Sen. Tom Ivester D-Sayer stated he would work with officials at Oklahoma’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to author the legislation aimed at “regulating questionable practices” at Narconon Arrowhead.

The legislation passed the Senate unopposed in Feb. and then earlier this month the bill passed the House Public Health Committee 9-1.

If the bill is finally by the Senate for a final vote, and signed by the Gov. Fallin the bill will become law in November.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.

 

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