Eleven employees at a regional center in Pueblo that treats adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities have been placed on leave amid allegations of physical and verbal abuse, and unlawful sexual contact.

Reggie Bicha, executive director of the Colorado Department of Human Services, announced the investigation involving the Pueblo Regional Center on Wednesday. The CDHS operates the facility.

The Pueblo Chieftain reports that while Bicha didn't specify the number of clients who may have been abused, the allegations date back years. He did not release any specific details about the alleged abuse, and state officials say they only learned of the allegations over the past several weeks.

Teresa Bernal, the former interim director of the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, has been named interim director of the facility.