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Choate Developmental Center abuse scandal timeline

Thursday, Mar 31, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From developmental disability consultant Ed McManus

ABUSE SCANDAL AT CHOATE DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER

Criminal charges have been filed against the following employees:

1–Mark Allen, indicted March 2016 for 3 counts of aggravated battery of a resident (struck him on face and head with fists, pushed him to ground, kicked him in head) and 1 count of felony intimidation. Multiple failures to appear at hearings, arrest warrants issued. Charged Dec. 2021 with obstructing justice, pleaded guilty, sentenced to probation, other charges dismissed.

2–Cody Barger, indicted Jan. 2020 for 2 counts of official misconduct–failure to report that he witnessed another worker causing a resident to drink an entire cup of hot sauce, and failure to report an incident in which he and Jonathan Lingle grabbed a resident and the resident’s arm was broken. Also indicted for 2 counts of obstructing justice–lying to police. Pleaded guilty March 2021 to obstructing justice, sentenced to probation, other charges dismissed.

3—Jonathan Lingle, indicted Jan. 2020 for official misconduct, failure to report an incident in which he and Cody Barger grabbed a resident and the resident’s arm was broken, and for obstructing justice, lying to police. Failed to appear for court hearing April 2021, arrest warrant issued. Re-appeared Nov. 2021. Pleaded guilty to obstructing justice March 2022, sentenced to probation, misconduct charge dismissed.

4—Sheri Fish, security officer, indicted Jan. 2020 for official misconduct, illegally disclosing identity of a person who complained of acts against other employees. Charge dismissed.

5—Johnny Brimm, charged Oct. 2020 with aggravated battery, for striking a resident in the face, and obstructing justice, for lying to police. Trial scheduled for May 10.

6—Matthew Wiseman, charged Oct. 2020 with aggravated battery, for choking a resident, and obstructing justice, for lying to police. Trial scheduled for July 12.

7—Bobby Lee, charged Oct. 2020 with aggravated battery, for striking a resident in the face multiple times. Waived right to jury trial. Bench trial scheduled for June 2.

8—Dalton Anderson, charged Oct. 2020 with aggravated battery, for choking a resident with a shirt. Trial scheduled for July 12.
(Brimm, Wiseman, Lee and Anderson are accused of ganging up on one resident.)

9—Kevin Jackson, charged Oct. 2020 with aggravated battery, for striking a female resident multiple times with a belt. Trial scheduled for May 10.

10—Teresa Smith, assistant director of Choate, charged Oct. 2020 with official misconduct, for illegally reviewing the Inspector General investigative file on Kevin Jackson, and obstructing justice, for lying to police. Judge Tyler Edmonds on April 5, 2021, found probable cause and scheduled her for trial, but later that day he changed his finding to “no probable cause.”

She was indicted in June 2021 on the same charges, but the state’s attorney dropped the charges in September after it was discovered that the grand jury was not informed of what happened in court in April.

11—Bryant Davis, Choate facility director, indicted June 2021 for official misconduct, for illegally reviewing the Inspector General file on Kevin Jackson. No trial date yet.

12—Gary Goins, quality assurance administrator, indicted June 2021 for official misconduct for reviewing Jackson file and directing staff to contact Jackson’s alleged victim. Goins’ attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss.
(State’s Atty. Tyler Tripp stated: “It is alleged that these violations started a chain of events that impeded an active investigation (of Jackson) by State Police.”)

13—Charles Mills, charged on March 10, 2022 with aggravated criminal sexual assault, for “committing an act of (oral) sexual penetration with a female resident unable to give knowing consent.” Preliminary hearing scheduled for April 4.

(Mills was also indicted Feb. 16, 2022 for 2 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child. Arraignment scheduled for April 4.)

Sources: Judici.com, Union County Circuit Clerk.
Prepared March 30, 2022

       

19 Comments
  1. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 8:43 am:

    Lived in Union county most my life.

    If there is a state facility screaming to be closed, it’s Choate.


  2. - OneMan - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 8:47 am:

    Seems like a lot of probation for stuff.


  3. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 8:49 am:

    OneMan-

    They’re telling something.


  4. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 8:49 am:

    Standby for AFSCME and the local lawmakers to declare war on any attempt to close or downsize Choate.


  5. - Friendly Bob Adams - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 8:50 am:

    Looks like Kim Foxx is not the only “soft on crime” prosecutor out there. The judge also seems very easy on those accused of assault.

    Are they thinking that crimes against people with intellectual disabilities don’t count?


  6. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 8:54 am:

    Many of the people that work there are neighbors too. Something evil was going on there and lots of people knew about it. This place needs to be shut down. Anyone who harms a developmentally disabled person should burn in hell. Anyone complicit who covered it up should go to prison. No exceptions, no mercy.


  7. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 8:57 am:

    In the early days of the pandemic then Sheriff Scott Harvell was one of many downstate Sheriff’s joining the lawsuit to force health departments to disclose those that had tested positive for COVID.

    Edmonds sided with the Sheriff’s, thankfully an injunction intervened.

    Back the Blue has a bit of a twist down here.


  8. - Grimlock - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 8:57 am:

    Seems like two sets of crimes; crimes in the facility and crimes in our judicial system.


  9. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 9:02 am:

    Choate At one time, and I believe still is, a unique state operated facility in that it served both MI and DD clients and housing the only PICA unit in the state.


  10. - Marine Life - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 9:36 am:

    The surnames on this list include some of Union County’s oldest, politically connected families. A fully independent SA and judiciary would have their hands full.


  11. - Casual observer - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 10:31 am:

    And sure enough, many of them are still on state payroll….


  12. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 10:36 am:

    Do you know who appreciates when rural areas keep their focus only on corruption in Chicago?

    Everyone on this list.


  13. - Earnest - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 10:52 am:

    Thank you Ed for your efforts to make people aware of this, and to Rich for picking up on it. These are people who have no voice or visibility caught in what looks like a horrifying situation.


  14. - Marine Life - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 10:56 am:

    CO, yes, and all the while railing against government at Fuzzy’s Tavern.


  15. - Vote Quimby - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 11:11 am:

    ==Do you know who appreciates when rural areas keep their focus only on corruption in Chicago? Everyone on this list.==

    Great point TIM “Look at that trash up north… don’t poke around down here.”


  16. - Crispy - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 11:14 am:

    With 47th Ward on this. This is unconscionable. Mere probation for facilitating and covering up abuse? It’s beyond outrageous. Also, not a lawyer, but is there any chance of federal intervention on behalf of the residents here?


  17. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 11:53 am:

    Just passing through to point out that despite the incomprehensible probation, Obstruction of Justice is nevertheless a Class 4 felony which is grounds not only for termination but forfeiture of pension benefits.

    So, reporters undoubtedly have follow-up questions.


  18. - We'll See - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 12:07 pm:

    ==there any chance of federal intervention on behalf of the residents here?==

    Yep, the Department of Justice has used incidents like the Choate cases to launch investigations that result in consent decrees.


  19. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Mar 31, 22 @ 4:25 pm:

    The good news is that the fact that there have been investigations and indictments means that the problems aren’t being completely ignored. The bad news is that this is probably just the tip of the iceberg and these sentences are an embarrassment to our society as a whole.

    How many of these people are still drawing their pay?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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