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State begins probe of prison's worker comp claims

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CHESTER, Ill. (AP) — Illinois state insurance fraud officials have launched an investigation of a southwestern Illinois prison where nearly $10 million in worker’s compensation and paid medical leave have been paid out to more than half the staff over the past three years.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the Illinois Department of Insurance’s inquiry involving the Menard Correctional Center in Chester follows its recent stories raising questions about the taxpayer-funded settlements to workers there.

The newspaper has reported that since January 2008 that at least $10 million in awards and payments for medical leave have been made in about 225 settled cases.

A total of 389 Menard guards and other workers have filed more than 500 claims.

The state’s corrections department has said it isn’t involved in the claims.

 

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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