Politics & Government

Special Commitment Center CEO resigns

Mark Strong resigned Friday as CEO of the Special Commitment Center after running the treatment facility for sex offenders on McNeil Island for more than two years.

The Special Commitment Center is home to more than 200 sexually violent predators who were civilly committed after completing their prison sentences because they are considered likely to reoffend.

“He just decided to move on,” said spokesman Chris Wright of the Department of Social and Health Services, which oversees the facility. “It’s not a Western State situation or anything. It seemed to be kind of a mutual decision.”

Wright was referring to two inmates breaking out of Western State Hospital in Lakewood earlier this month, which led to the firing of the hospital’s chief executive, Ron Adler. That facility is also overseen by DSHS.

Bill Van Hook, the former assistant attorney general responsible for Special Commitment Center litigation from 2007-15, unretired to take over as SCC’s CEO.

The move is permanent, Wright said.

A DSHS news release announcing Strong’s departure says the SCC’s primary office will move from Steilacoom to McNeil Island in the future.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker