NOM BLOG

Can We Trust Gov. Quinn and the Illinois Department of Children & Foster Care Services to Protect Children?

 

Catholic Charities has a sterling record of protecting foster children in the State of Illinois. With Gov. Quinn's consent, the children they protected are now going to be transferred to new homes because the Department of Children and Foster Care Services will no longer do business with any foster care agency that does not do gay couple adoptions.

Meanwhile, for years, the Illinois DCFS did business with a man named George E. Smith (a close personal friend of the then-head of DCFS Erwen "Mac" McEwen) who apparently bilked DCFS and other state agencies of $18 million dollars.

More troublingly, Smith actually administered psychotropic drugs to children in foster care without proper medical care or consent.

When Gov. Quinn found out, he quietly pressured McEwen to resign. No public condemnation. No calls to investigate. Nothing.

The "Chicago Way" is apparently now the 'Illinois Way", where politics trumps not only good government, but basic decency.

We've mentioned this development before but see this report in Business Week:

"McEwen, who described Smith as his "personal friend and mentor," stopped cooperating with investigators in May, the report said, although state employees are required to aid such probes. He announced his resignation in August and left DCFS at the end of September.

Gov. Pat Quinn said Monday that McEwen "was given the opportunity to resign and he took that opportunity." Quinn, appearing at an unrelated news conference, did not take any other questions on the issue and did not explain why he didn't publicly disclose the reason for McEwen's departure.

Brooke Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Democrat, said the law barred Quinn from disclosing the misconduct. However, that law applies to early release of "investigatory files and reports" from the inspector general; it does not prohibit a governor from saying he believes a member of his Cabinet is mismanaging an agency.

Anderson said all contracts and grants to Smith were halted and that DCFS is taking steps to make sure nothing like this happens again. She could not describe the steps that are being taken.

McEwen and Smith did not return messages seeking their comment on the allegations."