Virginia mental health chief to retire

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s mental health chief plans to retire when Gov. Bob McDonnell’s term ends.

Media outlets report that Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services commissioner James Stewart III announced his retirement in a memo sent last week to central staff, facility heads and community services boards’ directors.

Stewart’s memo also says deputy commissioner Olivia Garland will retire Jan. 15 and another executive, Heidi Dix, is leaving the department.

The department says assistant commissioner for behavioral health John J. Pezzoli will serve as acting commissioner until a replacement is named.

The 67-year-old Stewart tells The Daily Progress (http://bit.ly/1aciYtv ) that he planned to cap his career with the position when McDonnell appointed him four years ago. He says he’s looking forward to exploring different interests during the next chapter of his life.

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Information from: The Daily Progress, http://www.dailyprogress.com

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