Indicted Illinois Department of Human Services Employees Still Working After Alleged Abuse Cover Up

A metal-barred doors stands open in a hall of the Psychiatric hospital in Tripoli, on August 28, 2011. Tripoli's sole psychiatric hospital, already unable to cope under Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, is struggling with a flood of new cases brought on by the revolution's battles, as well as a lack …
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Three Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) administrators are still working for the state, despite being indicted by a grand jury on charges related to violating investigative protocol after patients in their care were allegedly beaten by staff.

Bryant Davis, Teresa Smith, and Gary Goins are administrators at Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center in Anna, Illinois. They were indicted June 28 by Union County State’s Attorney Tyler Tripp.

“Davis and Goins are each charged with one count of Official Misconduct, a Class 3 Felony,” the state’s attorney said in a press release. “Smith is charged with one count of Official Misconduct, a Class 3 Felony, and one count of Obstruction of Justice, a Class 4 Felony.”

Illinois State Sen. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) told Breitbart News on Friday that the three indicted administrators are still fully employed, “They were moved to desk duty somewhere else, but are being paid.” She said, “These individuals must immediately be put on administrative leave until these allegations are thoroughly investigated.”

The state-run mental health center has 219 patients in 6 living areas. More than 10 percent of patients are “Nonverbal, use sign language or gestures to communicate.”

The Illinois state facility has a history of problems. In January 2020, a grand jury indicted Sheri Fish, 49, Cody Barger, 25, and Jonathan Lingle, 29, on charges of misconduct. The Southern Illinoisian reported in June:

Regarding one of the misconduct charges, the indictment alleges Barger, a former mental health technician at Choate, intentionally failed to report seeing another mental health technician allegedly cause “a patient to drink an entire cup of hot sauce.”

Barger and Lingle, who was also a mental health technician, both were charged with misconduct for allegedly failing to report an incident that caused a patient to have a broken arm.

In October 2020, a local NBC affiliate reported Teresa Smith was formally accused of official misconduct and obstruction of justice during an Illinois State Police investigation. This followed the October arrests of five Choate employees on charges of aggravated battery involving residents: Kevin Jackson, 38, Bobby L. Lee, 33, Johnny Brimm, 40, Dalton Anderson, 29, and Mathew Wiseman, 28. Smith has continued her work there since.

In a statement, Bryant, the Minority Spokesperson of the Senate Behavioral and Mental Health Committee, said:

It is unconscionable that the individuals charged with covering up and interfering with an investigation into the abuse of residents are continuing to actively work and have access to the staff and facility—the very facility in which they failed to properly protect the vulnerable residents under their care. It’s simply inexcusable.

The Illinois Department of Human Services did not respond to a request for comment from Breitbart News.

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