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Mitchell Case Prompts Call for Worker’s Comp. Investigation

Bill Reker
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Matt Mitchell
Photo KMOX/Michael Calhoun

Matt Mitchell
Photo KMOX/Michael Calhoun

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GLEN CARBON, IL. (KMOX) Representative Dwight Kay will ask for an investigation of the entire worker’s compensation system in Illinois.

The representative is especially concerned over an arbitrator’s previous attempt to hold former Illinois State Trooper Matt Mitchell’s hearing on the sly because she didn’t want press coverage.

Representative Kay says he fears the inequities in the worker’s compensation system go beyond the Mitchell case:

He sights a Belleville News Democrat investigation;

The paper reported the state paid nearly ten million dollars in awards to 389 employees, including 230 guards who claimed they sustained injuries from repetitive trauma from locking and unlocking cell doors at the Menard Correctional Center in Chester, Illinois.

Kay told KMOX News  the paper “found a number of cases where we have payments made with potential records not being kept appropriately which would include payouts not being recorded.”

A workers compensation claim by former Illinois State Trooper Matt Mitchell was denied on Thursday by arbitrator Jennifer Teague.

Mitchell suffered leg injuries when his patrol car crossed a median on I-64 at a high rate of speed in 2007 and killed Collinsville sisters Kelli and Jessica Uhl.

In rejecting Mitchell’s claim the Belleville News Democrat reports arbitrator Teague said Mitchell took “substantial and unjustified risk resulting in a gross deviation in the standard or care of his duties as an Illinois State Trooper.”

Mitchell pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless homicide in the case and received probation.   He can still file a petition for review of the arbitrator’s decision.

Representative Kay told KMOX News he had asked that Teague be released from her duties because of the attempt to move the date and location of the Mitchell hearing.

The decision to deny Mitchell’s workman’s compensation claim was Teague’s final act before being placed on administrative leave.

Copyright KMOX Radio/Belleville News Democrat

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