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County appoints interim LCMH director

Lake County’s Board of Commissioners appointed Lake County Mental Health clinician Ben Paz to serve as the interim director of the department during an emergency session held Monday, May 13.

As the subject is a personnel matter, limited information is available due to the confidential nature of the issue.

Paz will serve in this interim capacity for a period no longer than 60 days, according to Commissioner Ken Kestner.

Kestner said Paz would serve in place of Dir. Jack Breazeal, who has 60 days to appeal a background check by the state Department of Human Services, which denies him his duties as director for the duration.

The background check stems from Breazeal’s Dec., 22, 2012 charge of driving under the influence.

Breazeal was arrested on Dec. 22, 2012, on one count of Driving Under the Influence, one count of Failure to Perform Duties of a Driver and two counts of Recklessly Endangering, according to a Jan. 9 news story.

The incident, in question, as detailed in a probable cause statement, claimed that Breazeal was involved in an accident leading up to his arrest, and that his two children were in the vehicle at the time.

The story from Jan. 9 reported that while Breazeal’s Blood Alcohol Content level measured in at 0.00 through a breathalyzer test, he failed a voluntary field sobriety test.

Kestner said that Breazeal was allowed to return to his duties following the incident provided he was capable of serving in the required capacity of his mandated responsibilities until the  background check’s results came back.

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