Former Cicero Town President Betty Loren Maltese is out of prison and living in a halfway house in Las Vegas.
Loren Maltese was released from a federal prison in California yesterday after serving six-and-a-half years. She and other Cicero public officials were convicted of ripping off the town for millions of dollars in an insurance scam.
Loren Maltese will stay at the halfway house for several months. In an early 2008 interview , she said she would “never go back to Cicero.”
Gov. Pat Quinn today announced he’ll order the troubled state-run Howe Developmental Center closed.
The Tinley Park center is home to about 250 developmentally disabled clients. Quinn’s predecessor, Rod Blagojevich, last year ordered the facility be shuttered after getting pressure from advocates for the disabled who blamed more than two dozen deaths at Howe on neglectful treatment there.
The center lost its federal certification in 2007 because it failed to meet basic standards, which meant Howe also lost all its federal funding.
* WTTW’s Chicago Tonight hosted a panel discussion about old and new media last night. I was invited, but couldn’t attend…
Part of the show was based on the Community Media Workshop’s latest study of Chicago and Illinois blogs. Several political blogs were included, big and small, except for this one. Not sure why.
I am not certain where some of these campaign webistes comes from…dillards new site is 100 times better than his last one, but still not as good as the schillerstrom one…where as murphy, who i think everyone on the gop side thinks could gain steam pretty quick if he got ssome cash, bascially still uses a splash page (a bit more than that, but really not)…profts is a little busy but pretty good too…
There was ONE hearing - not “some hearings” - at which almost everyone who testified, including dozens of parents, opposed closure.
There was not “careful consideration” as Murphy, McCarthy and Ryg all voted for closure despite not having attended the sole hearing.
Statute had nothing to do with not delaying the vote. COGFA considered a motion to delay which required a majority but deadlocked.
The “independent” consultant was a former private-sector human service executive - by nobody’s definition an “independent” source on public sector human services. Competition for scarce funds tends to bias the sectors against one another, most unhelpfully.
Now we get that consultant’s report, which is extremely thin. For example, as noted above, it states that “the Howe Leadership team generally believe that DHS set Howe up for failure”, but doesn’t address this explosive allegation anywhere.
The railroad keeps rolling, right over Howe residents.
Howe has had some much publicized problems in the past which has made it easier to demonize the facility. There is much pressure to move this population into small group homes which adds pressure, of course.
I am not saying the facility deserves closure - even from my relatively close vantage point it is not so clear. Your points are well taken.
- Quinn T. Sential - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 2:11 pm:
Is Betty planning to invite Eddie V over for tea and crumpets now that she’s halfway home? Given the bullet that he dodged himself recently, I suspect that he is no longer as mad as a hatter, and would have to respectfully decline.
Howe should close ASAP. The Feds, DHS, COGFA and numerous outside groups like The ARC, Equip for Equality and others have all called for the closure. These state ops. are 1950s and 1960s thinking when it comes to caring for the disabled.
When both those inside and outside state government see the deaths at the place, they all know it is time to close.
Assuming Howe is actually closed–I suppose last minute changes and appeals are always possible–I think Quinn did the right thing. I must say, I thought he would cave to employee union protests and keep it open. So this is promising–again, always assuming he follows through. He’s not exactly reliable on follow through,
There was more than one COGFA hearing on Howe. One in Dec of 2008, Jan 2009, April 2009 and May 2009. Check the COGFA website on faciliy closures.
As far as the Reps (that serve on COGFA) who voted for closure of Howe that may not have been at your “one meeting,” they likely read each report prepared by COGFA, so I am betting they were well apprised of the issues from both the proponents and opponents. Again, you can just go to the COGFA website and view most of the reports, letters and public comments.
Last, many state agencies hire consultants from the private sector to do independent evaluations. As to whether it would have been better to find a consultant more familiar with “public institutions,” I see your point — but not sure if the outcome would have been different.
I wonder what GMAB and Cassandra know about the Howe center that the parents of its residents don’t. Forget pols, outside groups, union if you wish. Howe center parents have nothing at stake but what is best for their children, and they want Howe to stay open. Not sure how GMAB, Cassandra or Pat Quinn can argue with that.
It was the loss of federal certification which persuaded me that the center should be closed. Not because of the (considerable) extra costs to Illinois taxpayers, although that has certainly been problematic, but my belief that governmental standards are generally the result of negotiation and consensus and thus usually set the bar low rather than high. And yet, despite promises that those in charge of Howe (the heavily politicized DHS and its chief) would regain certification, they apparently never did.
It seems that recertification should have been a huge priority. But apparently, not enough of one to be successful.
My criticism isn’t confined to the Howe staff. I think the entire top leadership of DHS, mostly if not all Blago appointees, or appointees/cronies of appointees, should be replaced.
Maybe the new “reform” bill should prohibit transfers of political money to NFP organizations, charities and churches. No offense to any of those organizations (I actually work for one) - but they sometimes get “used” by the politicians and worse. Many politicians use the NFP transfer clause to enrich their family members - it’s a back door way of transferring campaign contributions into personal wealth.
This should be addressed. Seriously, if its political money - then it should stay political money - or refunded to the donors.
No difficulty, really. All COGFA hearings were open to the public — and comments were allowed at each hearing, whether written or oral (granted, the normal COGFA hearings were more structured and brief). I know because I was able to attend one.
I really do not want to beat this into the ground any further. I appreciate the chat though.
Maybe the ATM bandits were the same ones that snatched the ATM outta the Thompson Center on a weekend about 10 years ago. At least this time the CMS Police weren’t on hand to let ‘em in, hold the door on the way out, and help the mopes shove the ATM on their Ryder Truck.