SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
This. Must. End.

Friday, Jun 29, 2012

* Yesterday, we discussed the Belleville News Democrat’s story about how the Inspector General for the Department of Human Services refused to investigate suspicious deaths of people in home care because they were dead and, therefore, under his insane interpretation of state law, no longer qualified for DHS services.

As you might imagine, legislative reaction has been furious

“It is very disturbing to say the least,” said Sen. William Haine, D-Alton. “I think the OIG owes each and every member of the General Assembly a full explanation of these facts … I think this calls for some supplemental legislation that should involve other stakeholders like state’s attorneys and coroners.”

State Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, chairman of the House Human Services Committee, refuted the OIG’s interpretation of the 2000 law that gave it increased powers to investigate abuse and neglect of disabled adults who live outside of state facilities.

“It doesn’t seem to be that there’s any lacking of specificity in the law,” Harris said. “I don’t see this nonsense about, well, “We can’t provide services once they’re deceased.”

The OIG should be looking into cases of neglect and abuse of a disabled person, especially when a death follows an allegation, Harris said. The agency has a responsibility to investigate, Harris said, and to turn over cases where neglect or abuse is suspected of being involved to law enforcement.

“We need to find out how this is being allowed to happen,” Harris said. “We need to find out if it’s a failure of individuals, we need to figure out if it’s a failure of the system. Or, if it’s a failure of how a law or rule is drafted, whichever one of those it is or all three of them, we have to fix it.”

State Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon, said the OIG’s main purpose is to investigate abuse and neglect of the disabled.

“That someone dies is a lame reason not to follow through. They have always been tasked with this,” Kay said. “If we don’t have the ability to pursue causes of death in these cases to their logical end, then we should take it out (of the law). But it seems it was put there for good reason.”

* Meanwhile, the DHS Inspector General is expected to issue some sort of statement today. I’ll have it for you if it ever materializes. But I want to go back to a passage that was in the story we looked at yesterday

Top state officials declined to talk about how the agency operates. OIG Director William M. Davis, a retired Illinois State Police regional commander, initially agreed to an interview, but [DHS spokeswoman Januari Smith-Trader] later said that neither Davis nor his boss, Department of Human Services Secretary Michelle R. B. Saddler, were available.

In subsequent emails, Smith-Trader accused a reporter of possibly breaking state and federal privacy laws by being in possession of private case summaries not open to the public. [Emphasis added.]

It seems to me that DHS was trying to kill a hugely unflattering story by using an empty threat of prosecution against two of this state’s best investigative reporters. Rather than rectify their incredibly stupid behavior, DHS lashed out at the people who were trying to expose this despicable policy to the public. It was a clear act of desperation on the part of DHS, and they need to be called out on it.

The governor also needs to be dragged into this mess. He needs to be pressed on it until he agrees to push DHS into compliance with the law. Some firings wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

And, frankly, the entire Inspector General concept needs to be revisited by the General Assembly. You’ve got some IG’s making sure people don’t eat sandwiches at their desks and others refusing to investigate deaths.

Enough, already.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


21 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 11:01 am:

    Perhaps Quinn has been to busy trying to avoid a Congressman from Peoria to comment?


  2. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 11:04 am:

    State Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon, said the OIG’s main purpose is to investigate abuse and neglect of the disabled.

    “That someone dies is a lame reason not to follow through. They have always been tasked with this,” Kay said. “If we don’t have the ability to pursue causes of death in these cases to their logical end, then we should take it out (of the law). But it seems it was put there for good reason.”

    Good but this would have been better

    “That someone dies is a lame the stupidest excuse ever developed by the human mind and I for one think we are all dumber for having heard it as a reason not to follow through.


  3. - thechampaignlife - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 11:06 am:

    Pardon my ignorance and perhaps this was discussed in yesterday’s comments but why is the OIG performing these investigations in the first place? Isn’t abuse another word for aggravated assault? Shouldn’t local law enforcement or, in the case of a death, the coroner be performing these investigations? I mean, if I drag an able bodied person across a floor giving them scrapes and bruises, I’d surely be prosecuted for assault. Why is it any different for a disabled person? Sure, they may not be able to report it themselves or testify themselves but the person that does end up reporting it (a family member, nurse, etc) and the cops’ investigation should lead to prosecution just the same. Am I missing something?


  4. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 11:17 am:

    thechampaignlife I don’t think anyone is really expecting the OIG to do a criminal investigation, but it seems that stopping all action because of death seems more than a bit daft.

    For example it would appear using their logic if lets say a care provider was accused of abusing a client and that client soon dies due issues not related to the abuse that the abuse investigation would just end. I would like to think the entity responsible for investigating the abuse would not just stop.

    It would seem that any entity charged with investigating abuse (as it appears these guys are) should not stop because the victim died.

    That is just asinine.


  5. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 11:17 am:

    What if you die eating a sandwich at your desk without your supervisor’s consent?


  6. - langhorne - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 11:19 am:

    totally outrageous. indefensible. stupid.

    everyone up the chain of command needs to be held publicly accountable–including quinn. starting now. throw simon into the mix too, she doesnt have much to do and this is in her backyard.

    rich, you have your next column if you havent covered this there already.


  7. - amalia - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 11:20 am:

    @thechampaignlife + 1

    while I do think there is some investigative capacity of the OIG that would take a hit at the administrators, I would think a call to the police etc. would be most appropriate for the immediacy of the death. could be a bad employee, as in a criminal, and I’d want the police to investigate that.


  8. - Commonsense in Illinois - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 11:36 am:

    Memo to: Michelle Saddler…it’s not the event that gets you, it’s the COVER UP!


  9. - Sunshine - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 11:37 am:

    Perhaps we have seen “the height of incompetence” achieved? I for one am for firing all of those idiots!!


  10. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 11:43 am:

    About what I would expect from Ms. Januari. She was interviewed for a position at my agency. After an underwhelming performance, we indicated that we were probably going to keep interviewing. Within hours, the threatening calls from Emil Jones on her behalf started.


  11. - wordslinger - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 11:45 am:

    Surely there must be some Mushrooms with time on their hands who could call some hearings and compel some testimony. Exercise some oversight while you’re waiting to be told how to vote. It’s an important part of the job.


  12. - Wensicia - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 11:46 am:

    “What if you die eating a sandwich at your desk without your supervisor’s consent?”

    Your death does not excuse or prevent immediate disciplinary action which may be imposed on your heirs.


  13. - Crime Fighter (fka Honestly) - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 11:59 am:

    Rich: Thanks for staying on top of this. This is just but one example where the level of dysfunction in this administration has jeopardized peoples’ health and safety.

    @ Michelle Flaherty =What if you die eating a sandwich at your desk without your supervisor’s consent?= Awesome hypothetical!

    Maybe Director Saddler, who had overwhelming legislative support, could assign Deputy Carol Kraus to handle the inspectors - she has experience.


  14. - Duck Duck Goose - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 12:12 pm:

    While it certainly doesn’t excuse any of the actions by DHS or the IG, I think that there is a valid question as to if, how, and why reporters are able to get reports that contain personal and intimately private information about people.


  15. - Secret Square - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 12:17 pm:

    “Shouldn’t local law enforcement or, in the case of a death, the coroner be performing these investigations?”

    Yes, but I would suspect that an agency investigation, since it doesn’t involve imposing criminal penalties (merely referring cases to law enforcement for further action), requires a less strict standard of proof than a criminal investigation.

    For example, say a mentally and physically disabled adult accuses their caregiver of hitting them (physical assault) or fondling them (sexual abuse). Which is easier and quicker to accomplish: getting the caregiver fired via an agency investigation which declares the abuse allegations “founded”, or getting the caregiver arrested, tried and jailed for assault or criminal sexual abuse? Hopefully, BOTH will be done, of course; but chances are the victim will have an easier time proving his/her case to the agency than in a courtroom.


  16. - Just a Citizen - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 12:19 pm:

    Thanks for keeping the spotlight on this issue beyond the normal 24 hour news cycle. This behavior by DHS and/or the IG needs to be investigated.


  17. - Mouthy - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 12:35 pm:

    A few years back, on the introduction of the first newly appointed IG in our office, I asked him a couple of questions. I first asked if it was true he was appointed by the boss for 4 years, any reports of wrongdoing would be reported to the boss, we would never know what the investigation revealed nor what action, if any, was taken, didn’t have any set hours, made 106K a year, and didn’t have to answer to anyone. He said yes.

    I then knew that the position was “worthless” to all except the IG and the boss. That’s the legislature’s idea of reform. Geez.


  18. - Sam - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 1:17 pm:

    Hmmmm…,.is program that cares for these disabled adults the same one that was subject to the controversy a few years ago about how the home care workers were being organized after an executive order?

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-09-03/news/0909021191_1_caregivers-organized-labor-union-dues

    In, any case, I think something similar will be happening to those MFTD kids next year. While the state is planning to kick some of them out of their homes, 75% of those that remain are projected to be cared for by unlicensed home care personal assistants like those who “cared” for these adults, even though they are much more fragile medically, instead of the nurses who currently care for them.

    I wonder if we’ll be reading similar stories about these kids next year…


  19. - What The - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 1:35 pm:

    Representative Greg Harris is also charged with oversight? Some of the spotlight needs to shine on the General Assembly and the Committees charged with oversight.


  20. - Newsclown - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 1:55 pm:

    The Inspector’s logic reminds me of something said by a criminal defense attorney, regarding hit-and-runs. Based on the rules of the game, he said, you get a much lower sentence for backing up and finishing a guy off, than for trying to save him or letting him live with injuries. I think the IG hired some people who work on that kind of logic.


  21. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Jun 29, 12 @ 3:35 pm:

    @DuckDuckGoose -

    I agree with you in part. However, I can’t imagine an interpretation of privacy laws that would find a reporter in violation for accepting confidential information. The person who delivered it might have broken the law, but the First Amendment offers protection.

    Threatening reporters is never an advisable p.r. strategy.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Karen Lewis endorses Chuy Garcia for mayor
* Friday night TV ad rating
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Proft responds to HRO
* Quinn, Rauner head downstate
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - HRO responds to Proft
* Emptying out my in-box
* Vast Majority of Illinois Voters Support Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency
* Inducement or just a party?
* Question of the day
* UPDATE: $580 MILLION EXELON RATE HIKE?? Do They Really Need a Bailout After Making Nearly $1 BILLION In The Last 90 Days?
* Very late Rauner oppo
* *** UPDATED x2 *** And speaking of abortion...
* GOP defends Rauner on "employer-provided birth control"
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Friday morning fundraising report
* It's not anything new, but that doesn't make it Kosher
* Polling averages, models, projections, etc.
* Today's number: $3.5 million
* Rauner makes "Top 10" robocall list
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Cable TV buy report and a spending update
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Minuum iOS update picks up new languages, advanced settings (Giveaway)
        * A final word from Taylor Martin
        * Battleheart Legacy signals Mika Mobile’s return to Android
        * AT&T and Verizon Boost Monthly Wireless Data in Ongoing Competition
        * Smash Champs lets you become a legendary trainer
        * Poynt pad tries to be all-in-one payment system for business
        * Truedialer app helps you manage contacts and calls

        * Orange HTC RE Camera Reportedly Delayed
        * Roku Now Able To Play Content From Google Play
        * BBM Updated With Timed Messages And Message Retraction
        * Bad News for Amazon: Google Play Movies and TV Are Now on Roku
        * How to Tell if Your Smartphone Is Haunted (Comic)
        * Does Bitrate Really Make a Difference In My Music?
        * Amazon Joins Google and Facebook in Exposing Tech’s Gender Gap

        * White Sox opt to decline Paulino's '15 option
        * White Sox have flexibility to pursue multiple upgrades
        * White Sox offseason plan roundup: Third base
        * Minnie Miñoso belongs in the Hall of Fame
        * Development of young core in '15 can define Chicago's future
        * Abreu leads White Sox GIBBY hopefuls with five noms
        * Allen, Wills among new faces on Hall's Golden Era ballot


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Illinois Governor candidates Quinn, Rauner on t.....
        * Illinois Dems dig deep to keep governor's office..
        * State gives $2.5M grant for new Geneseo pool..
        * As punctuality plummets, Amtrak confronts freig.....
        * BC-IL--Illinois News Digest 6 pm, IL..
        * Judgment Day: Incumbents are in trouble..
        * How to Get a Government Job in Gov. Pat Quinn's.....


        * Union backs county commissioner for Chicago mayor
        * Lake Michigan waves slam Chicago lakeshore
        * Creator of Operation couldn't afford own operation
        * Judge won't close hearing in Islamic State case
        * Lake Michigan waves slam Chicago lakeshore
        * Wallenda ready for windy Chicago tightrope walks
        * Woman charged with defrauding Illinois couple
        * Quinn, Rauner talk jobs, early voting Friday
        * Judge won't close hearing in Islamic State case
        * Cook County Jail guard faces theft charge

        * Former Gov. Edgar to campaign with Rauner
        * Attorney general seeks clarifications from Topinka’s former nonprofit
        * Inmate freed from Jacksonville prison in landmark Illinois case
        * Cross opposes income tax hike extension
        * Gay marriage, abortion issues take back seat in governor’s race
        * Madigan’s office seeks clarifications from former Topinka nonprofit
        * Cross says no to income tax hike extension, sales tax on services
        * Gay marriage, abortion issues take backseat in governor’s race
        * Illinois inmate freed in landmark capital punishment case
        * Rauner says women will decide governor's race

        * SEC examines Caterpillar's accounting for Bucyrus
        * Cubs hire Maddon as manager, fire Renteria
        * A stormy Lake Michigan swamps Lake Shore Drive – and sinks Chicago's mood
        * A stormy Lake Michigan swamps Lake Shore Drive — and sinks Chicago's mood
        * Chicago Marathon champion fails doping test, agent says


        * Garcia: I'm a serious mayoral candidate, not just a protest vote
        * A higher standard of criminal justice
        * Ex-Northwestern doctor to pay $475K to settle fraud claims
        * Sad day  when  Catholic  schools  close
        * Chicago bead merchant Ronnie Klein, whose Loop business drew stars, dead at 65
        * Chicago bead merchant Ronnie Klein, whose Loop business drew stars, dead at 65
        * Durbin, Oberweis square off for final time
        * State’s attorney investigating alderman’s prize offer to voters
        * Face it: Animator has found a great way to pass time on his commute
        * Refund those unfair yellow-light tickets


        * Federal judge refuses government request to close terrorism hearing
        * Emanuel's top attorney: Watchdog had no right to sue
        * Cops release photos in robbery and attack of police sergeant
        * Cops warn of armed robberies at South Side businesses
        * Mom, 3 kids killed in crash heading to Halloween parade
        * Doctor in indecency case can open door to trick-or-treaters
        * Widow of officer killed in crash speaks out for first time
        * Snow showers, temperatures in 30s for Halloween night
        * Lake County charges 21 under RICO statute
        * Rough waves on lake closes floating haunted house at Navy Pier


        * Scary Story: St. Michael And Mr. Pyles By H.W. Devlin
        * Dodging DUIs: Secretary of State Candidates Faceoff
        * Cook County posting indigent burials in 'virtual cemetery'
        * Whom do you trust when it comes to nutrition advice?
        * Zombie barge sinking in storm at Navy Pier
        * The digital afterlife
        * Making Buildings Healthier From The Inside Out
        * Scary Story: Planes By Ted Morrissey
        * Listen to State Week - October 31, 2014
        * "Monster Mash" Celebrates Halloween With Classical Music


        * Former Gov. Edgar to campaign with Rauner
        * Esther Cepeda: Elizabeth Pena: Trailblazer on the big screen
        * Andy Shaw: Voter turnout instrumental to reform
        * Ty Fahner: What if the Court rejects pension reform?
        * Attorney general seeks clarifications from Topinka’s former nonprofit
        * Quote of the Day: Friday, Oct. 31
        * Inmate freed from Jacksonville prison in landmark Illinois case
        * Cross opposes income tax hike extension
        * Gay marriage, abortion issues take back seat in governor’s race
        * Illinois inmate freed in landmark capital punishment case


        * High school football playoff scoreboard, Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2014
        * Unchained
        * No permanent damage from sprinklers at Bottenfield
        * Two sentenced for role in home invasion
        * Cedarhurst Center for the Arts features comic strip art
        * Clinton firefighters put new fire boat through its paces
        * Politics Notebook: Quinn makes stop at SIUE
        * Quinn makes stop at SIUE
        * School: DCFS also investigating East St. Louis teacher allegation
        * UI ag complex gets boost from state funding


        * Group makes last push for Butterfield tax request
        * Democrats dig deep to keep governor's office
        * Edgar to campaign with Rauner
        * Waves slam Chicago lakeshore
        * White Pines Golf Dome to reopen under new ownership

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Jeanne Shaheen says Scott Brown voted to r......
        * Jeanne Shaheen says Scott Brown voted to r......
        * Jeanne Shaheen says Scott Brown voted to r......
        * Jeanne Shaheen says Scott Brown voted to r......
        * Jeanne Shaheen says Scott Brown voted to r......

        * Sen. Mark Kirk questioned by Triton students...
        * If Republicans Take Senate, Why It Won’t Last...

        * Rahm and Sun-Times editor Jim Kirk.
        * Mark Anderson: Chicago progressives have an embarrassment of riches.
        * You think the Hinsdale board was crappy to teachers? Look at what they are doing to plow over the support staff.
        * The Chicago Transit Authority and Rahm’s water carriers at the Sun-Times.
        * The court issues an injunction against the Philadelphia Schools Commission.
        * Garcia Says Chicago Mayoral Run 'Is Not A Protest Candidacy'
        * I’m with Ben. No circular firing squads. Focus on Rahm. Not on each other.
        * Agreement in Waukegan. A three-year deal. Update: Teachers ratify.
        * Happy Halloween.
        * Illinois Early Voting Ends Sunday


        * Editorial: Governors, raining taxpayer $ on Illinois
        * Governor Quinn and Mayor Emanuel Thank New Safe Passage Workers - Nearly 700 Additional Workers Hired This Year to Serve 133 Schools, 69,000 Students Across the City
        * Editorial: Rauner best choice as governor to begin to reverse Illinois’ fortunes
        * Quinn to celebrate Rauner’s UI Labs accomplishment
        * Another Democrat Runs Away From Pat Quinn




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller