Arkansas lawmaker to retire from Ascent child care; boy died in hot van during his tenure – Arkansas News

Arkansas lawmaker to retire from Ascent child care; boy died in hot van during his tenure – Arkansas News

The state representative who runs Ascent Children’s Health Services plans to retire at the end of the year, he announced to employees Thursday.

The company’s West Memphis day care is under a one-year probation after a child’s death in a hot van. A company facility in North Little Rock also is under a one-year probation after children were left unattended in two instances.

Rep. Dan Sullivan, R-Jonesboro, is chief executive of Ascent. He told employees in an internal memo that he plans to retire but is waiting until the end of the year so the company has time to find a suitable replacement.

Burt Samples, director of information technology for the company, confirmed that Sullivan had said he planned to retire, but refused to answer additional questions Friday at the Jonesboro office.

Sullivan did not respond to multiple phone calls and text messages on Thursday and Friday.

He has been with Ascent since 2004. He became chief executive in June 2013, having previously served as a regional chief operating officer and vice president, according to the company’s website.

Tennessee-based Acadia Healthcare, which lists Ascent in its health care services network, did not reply to multiple requests for comment Friday.

Ascent operates 10 facilities across Arkansas. The company’s website says it is “a leading treatment program for physical and behavioral developmental issues.”

“We provide day and outpatient therapy for adolescent boys and girls and teens throughout Arkansas,” the website says.

Earlier this month, a Crittenden County circuit judge set a November trial for four women charged in the death of Christopher Gardner, who was left in a…

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