* Kurt Erickson…
A chain of long-term care homes owned by one of Republican Bruce Rauner’s former companies has faced lawsuits and critical state inspections stemming from the death and mistreatment of residents.
At a time when the wealthy political newcomer says he would run Illinois like a business if he wins the race for governor, a review of court records and inspection reports shows American Habilitation Services was put under the legal and regulatory microscope in a handful of states in connection with fatalities and unfit living conditions.
Among the problems outlined in court cases, state records and multiple media reports are the deaths of developmentally disabled residents in bathtubs, “deplorable” living conditions, sexual assaults and a failure by employees to stop residents from harming themselves.
The problems at the company are similar to those outlined in a series of reports that emerged during the March primary election about a Rauner-connected chain of nursing homes.
Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf said the millionaire businessman from Winnetka was not involved in the day-to-day management of the company.
* The Democratic Governors Association breaks down the deets…
1. Death of an 11-year old.
At the Thomas Care Center in Houston, 11-year-old Xavier Alexander Hegwood died after an older resident “viciously attacked’ him in a playroom. The Texas attorney general Greg Abbott, now a Republican candidate for governor, later filed a lawsuit to seize control of the facility from AHS.
2. “Individual 48″
Also in 2005 in Texas, a woman identified only as “Individual 48″ died after she was found unconscious and on the floor. She later died. Because of improper transfers, she had not been properly diagnosed with congestive heart failure, Abbott alleged.
3. Arizona Drowning
In 2004, the family of a developmentally disabled woman who drowned at an AHS facility was awarded a $45.5 million judgment after she was left alone in 2001 in a bathtub and drowned.
4. Employee Assault
Abbott sued the Rauner homes in 2003 after a female resident of a home in Austin was sexually assaulted by an employee. Abbott wrote, “Not enough was done by administrators of Indian Wells House to investigate the allegations or to protect their clients,…Now a 32-year-old woman has to live with the company’s failure to fulfill minimum standards set forth in Texas law. Nothing will fully restore this woman’s sense of security, but my office will hold these kinds of facilities accountable.”
5. Marco Group Home
The Florida Department of Children and Families in 2004 found that an AHS home failed to report a sexual assault and had overbilled the state. The facility also had “a lack of food,” according to the Lee Newspapers.
*** UPDATE *** Response from the Illinois Republican Party…
Pat Quinn is skipping a major African-American economic empowerment forum at Chicago State University that Bruce Rauner is attending. Instead, he is sending Paul Vallas to attack Rauner on issues on which the governor has fallen short.
Paul Vallas knows Pat Quinn has a major problem when it comes to turning a blind eye to abuse and sexual assault at state-run facilities like group homes, developmental centers and youth prisons. Many unanswered questions remain – perhaps Paul Vallas can clear up the following questions today:
Why Did Pat Quinn Turn A Blind Eye To The Abuse Of A Mentally-Disabled Man, Ultimately Leading To His Death?
Why Did Pat Quinn Turn A Blind Eye To Pervasive Sexual Assault In Illinois Youth Prisons?
Why Didn’t Pat Quinn Fire A Single Employee At The State-Run Howe Developmental Center Despite Revelations Of Widespread Neglect And Abuse?
The details are here.