Senators call for removal of sexual felon serving as chief at Zambarano

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STATE HOUSE – Sens. Jessica de la Cruz and Hanna Gallo are calling for the dismissal of Dr. Andrew Stone, a physician who lost his medical license for exposing himself to children, as the chief of medical services at the state-run Eleanor Slater Hospitals in Cranston and Burrillville.

Stone was arrested in 2006, accused of exposing himself on multiple occasions to boys in the locker room of a YMCA in Seekonk. He pleaded guilty to four felony counts of open and gross lewdness, served four months of a two-year sentence, and underwent treatment. His license to practice medicine in Rhode Island was suspended upon his arrest, then revoked in 2008.

The Rhode Island Department of Health reinstated his medical license in Rhode Island in 2015. In 2018, the same year he was hired at Eleanor Slater, the state removed him from probation, citing his compliance with all restrictions that had been placed on his practice.

Stone was recently appointed to the position supporting clinical care at Eleanor Slater Hospital. The hospitals, overseen by the state’s Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, provide long-term acute and post-acute care to patients with complex medical and psychiatric needs.

NRI NOW broke the story of Stone’s appointment last month, which was later picked up by media statewide.

Eleanor Slater’s Regan unit in Cranston is located in Gallo’s district, and de la Cruz represents its Zambarano unit in Burrillville.

“How could we possibly put someone whose history includes felony sexual offenses in charge of the care of our most vulnerable patients, many of whom are unable to speak up for themselves?” said de la Cruz, a Republican representing District 23 in North Smithfield, Burrillville and Glocester, who met with Eleanor Slater officials earlier this week. “This is simply not the role for someone who, on multiple occasions, committed criminally inappropriate acts in front of children. I’m all for rehabilitation, but we’re not talking about a substance addiction or a minor offense. In this case, it’s more appropriate to prioritize the safety of those who cannot advocate for themselves.”

The senators said they also have concerns for the hospital staff, particularly those who have a history of their own trauma.

“Above all else, hospitals should be concerned with safety and wellbeing. Putting someone with a history of sexual offenses in a position of power is taking an undue risk with patient and staff safety. We call on the Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals to remove Dr. Stone from this position for the protection of everyone at Eleanor Slater,” said Gallo, a Democrat representing District 27 in Cranston and West Warwick.

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