AUGUSTA — A day after blasting a legislative panel, Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew agreed to appear before the Government Oversight Committee on Jan. 22.

Mayhew criticized the committee for giving her only five days’ notice to appear at Thursday’s meeting, then threatening to issue a subpoena after she was a no-show. She accused the committee of grandstanding and encouraged the panel to contact her to reschedule.

The committee wanted to question Mayhew about ongoing deficiencies at Riverview Psychiatric Center. Mayhew told the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability, the watchdog agency directed by the oversight panel, that Riverview Superintendent Jay Harper also will appear before the committee on Jan. 22.

Riverview lost its federal certification after an inspection uncovered problems, including overcrowding and the use of correctional officers to oversee patients.

Mayhew says progress is being made. The administration also has requested construction of a second facility for criminal patients so they can be separated from the regular population at Riverview.

The Government Oversight Committee voted 11-1 Thursday to issue the subpoena warning to Mayhew and Harper. The committee recently reviewed a report by a court-appointed master for Riverview – former Maine Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Daniel Wathen – which found that inadequate staffing and training, and seclusion and restraint techniques continue to plague the 92-bed center.

Wathen, who was assigned by the court to ensure that Riverview patients receive proper treatment, appeared before the oversight panel Thursday to explain the ongoing deficiencies. However, Mayhew and Harper did not attend the briefing despite a request from the committee.

Their absence riled lawmakers, who argued that the Riverview situation is urgent and expressed frustration that Gov. Paul LePage had set a new policy that throttles the exchange of information between the executive branch and legislators.

Mayhew, in a statement issued Thursday afternoon, pointed to a scheduling conflict that prevented her from attending and to the short notice. Beyond that, she said, legislative committees are consuming her staff’s time with little benefit.

“This process has been frustrating, duplicative and wasteful. It is disrespectful to our hard-working staff and the people they serve, taking them away from their core responsibilities, consuming hundreds of hours of time and thus far, the committees have produced nothing of value in terms of results,” she said.