CHICAGO (AP) Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday appointed a new inspector general for the
Illinois Department of Human Services after a special investigation found problems with more than a quarter of the death-related cases handled by the previous inspector general.

Quinn appointed 40-year law-enforcement veteran Michael McCotter to the job. He had been serving as a special investigator in the department since July. Former DHS inspector general William Davis, who was appointed in 2006, stepped down Aug. 1.

Quinn said in a statement that McCotter’s “dedication to reform will help ensure that any abuse and neglect suffered by citizens with disabilities in Illinois is rooted out
quickly and punished appropriately.”

McCotter’s appointment comes after a Belleville News-Democrat investigation revealed that the department’s inspector general didn’t investigate more than 50 cases involving disabled adults living at home who were allegedly abused or neglected and later died. The cases occurred over the last eight years.

Quinn issued an executive order stating “immediate improvements must be made” in documenting and following up on the deaths of adults with disabilities when abuse, neglect or exploitation is suspected.

In October, McCotter issued a report in his role as special investigator documenting errors or omissions in 20 of 72 cases. McCotter’s report included recommendations for improving the DHS Office of Inspector General. Quinn’s office says McCotter will be responsible for overhauling the office’s operations, ensuring accountability and strengthening protection for disabled adults.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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