The governor of Connecticut originally licensed Dr. Frederick Ruland for the treatment and detention of insane people at the Westport Sanitarium in 1887. Dr. McFarland opened up McFarland’s Sanitarium and operated as head physician in 1898. McFarland’s Sanitarium was later renamed Hall-Brooke Sanitarium and was under the control of Elizabeth F.S. Solomon in 1964 and in 1966 Hall-Brooke Sanitarium became the nonprofit organization, Hall-Brooke Foundation. Many Hall-Brooke employees including Dr. Robert Becker and various other state officials involved in licensing hospitals disliked Solomon’s management styles and she was later removed as director in 1980. That’s when Solomon took matters into her own hands and seized control of the institution.

During the course of the day, Solomon gave interviews and issued press releases distributed to newspapers, radio stations and television stations announcing that she was resuming the Executive Dictatorship. Meanwhile, Solomon’s security guards posted themselves at Hall-Brooke’s gates, accompanied by a dog and using walkie-talkies supplied by Solomon.

They stopped and questioned all staff as well as patients and their families. They denied access to a list of employees and hall-Brooke Trustees supplied by Solomon, and distributed purported termination letters from Solomon to 16 employees. Despite repeated requests from various people (including the Medical Director) that she leave, Solomon refused, until finally she was served with a court order requiring her departure–even then, she would not go until her own attorney advised her to do so.

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