Research

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Is Slow To Learn His Lesson

Today, The Chicago Sun-Times Reports That Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Has Appointed A Man With A History Of Theft As His New Director Of The Illinois Department Of Children And Family Services (DCFS). “Gov. Pat Quinn’s new director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services pleaded guilty to stealing from clients of a West Side social service agency and later became embroiled in a child-support battle over a daughter he said he never knew he’d fathered, records show.  Arthur D. Bishop, 61, had a felony theft charge pending against him when then-Gov. Jim Edgar’s administration hired him as a DCFS caseworker in 1995. He’d been accused of bilking patients of the Bobby E. Wright Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center out of more than $9,000, fighting the case for more than two years before pleading guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor theft.” (Frank Main, Chris Fusco and Tony Arnold, “New DCFS Boss Pleaded Guilty To Stealing From Social Service Agency’s Clients,” The Chicago Sun-Times, 2/17/14)

In 1993, Arthur D. Bishop Was Arrested For Stealing $9,262 From Clients At The Substance Abuse Facility At Which He Was Employed. “Before his career in state government, Bishop was a substance-abuse counselor at the Bobby E. Wright center. According to his Sept. 17, 1993, arrest report, he received $9,262 from clients and failed to turn over that money to the center between May 5, 1992, and July 23, 1993.” (Frank Main, Chris Fusco and Tony Arnold, “New DCFS Boss Pleaded Guilty To Stealing From Social Service Agency’s Clients,” The Chicago Sun-Times, 2/17/14)

Bishop Had Created A “Bogus” Program For Drunk Drivers, That He Claimed Would Allow Them To Regain Their Drivers Licenses, But In Reality The Facility Was Not Licensed To Perform That Service. “Bishop created a ‘bogus’ program for convicted drunken drivers, said Lucy Lang-Chappell, former executive director of the center, who was his boss. He was improperly taking money from patients and providing them with forms they wrongly believed would allow them to get their driver’s licenses back, though the center wasn’t licensed by the state to provide that service at the time, Chappell said in an interview.” (Frank Main, Chris Fusco and Tony Arnold, “New DCFS Boss Pleaded Guilty To Stealing From Social Service Agency’s Clients,” The Chicago Sun-Times, 2/17/14)

Bishop Pled Guilty To Misdemeanor Theft In 1995. “On Nov. 2, 1995, Bishop pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft and was sentenced to a year of conditional discharge, records show. He didn’t have to make restitution, Hawkins said.” (Frank Main, Chris Fusco and Tony Arnold, “New DCFS Boss Pleaded Guilty To Stealing From Social Service Agency’s Clients,” The Chicago Sun-Times, 2/17/14)

Bishop’s Actions “Totally Unethical” According To Former Employer

Bishop’s Former Boss Describes His Conduct As “Totally Unethical.” “Bishop ‘really betrayed me and everybody else at the agency,’ Chappell said. ‘The thing that really saddens me is that this is a man who is supposed to be over children and families — and this kind of thing happened. . . . He did something to the patients that was totally unethical, against the rules of the agency, and we were liable.’” (Frank Main, Chris Fusco and Tony Arnold, “New DCFS Boss Pleaded Guilty To Stealing From Social Service Agency’s Clients,” The Chicago Sun-Times, 2/17/14)

QUINN WAS FORCED TO REMOVE ANOTHER DCFS DIRECTOR IN 2011 AFTER HE ALLOWED A FRIEND TO LOOT MILLIONS FROM THE AGENCY

Former DCFS Director Erwin McEwen Allowed George E. Smith, A Personal Friend, To Loot $18 Million From Illinois State Agencies, Mostly DCFS. “A businessman who was paid millions of dollars by the state of Illinois to help children, addicts and other needy people actually did little or no work for the money, investigators said Monday, and he got away with it partly because of his close relationship with ‘Mac’ Erwin McEwen the recently departed head of the state’s child-welfare agency.  State inspectors report that George E. Smith billed several government agencies for work done by non-existent employees, submitted fake papers, forged people’s signatures, turned in fraudulent expense accounts and falsely claimed he was a psychiatrist. They also found that he administered psychotropic drugs to children without permission and without determining the proper dosages.  The report by the state’s executive inspector general found that George E. Smith and his various organizations collected $18 million in state grants from 2008 through 2011. Smith often rebuffed questions from employees at the Department of Children and Family Services by saying he only answered to ‘Mac.’” (Christopher Wills, “Pal Of DCFS Ex-Director Accused Of Misconduct,” The Associated Press, 10/17/11)

Among Other Allegations, Smith Allegedly Used Nearly $100,000 In Taxpayer Money To Purchase Sports Tickets. “One allegation the state is investigating is that grant money was put into accounts that Smith used to purchase nearly $96,000 in tickets to sporting events, including Cubs, White Sox and Bulls games.” (Ray Long, “DCFS Chief Quit While Under Cloud,” The Chicago Tribune, 8/18/11)

Quinn Did Not Fire McEwen For His Friend’s Theft, But Allowed Him To Resign. “Pressed Monday on why McEwen had not been fired outright, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn told reporters the former DCFS director ‘was given the opportunity to resign, and he took that opportunity.’ (Ray Long, “DCFS Chief Quit While Under Cloud,” The Chicago Tribune, 8/18/11)

Quinn Delayed Firing McEwen For Months

Quinn Took Four Months To Remove McEwen From His Post As Head Of DCFS. “Gov. Pat Quinn took four months to remove his director of child welfare after being told state inspectors believed the man had turned a blind eye while a friend ripped off state government, and Quinn kept quiet about problems at the agency even after conducting his own review.  Quinn aides said the governor acted as quickly as possible to determine the truth and then make changes without causing major disruptions at the Department of Children and Family Services. They say state ethics laws barred him from revealing that inspectors were investigating then-Director Erwin McEwen, information that didn’t become public until three weeks ago.” (Christopher Wills, “Quinn Took 4 Months To Remove Child-Welfare Chief,” The Associated Press, 11/15/11)

Quinn Even Delayed Removing McEwen After McEwen Stopped Cooperating With Investigators Looking Into Smith’s Fraud. “Rep. Jack Franks, chairman of the State Government Administration Committee, said he was troubled that Quinn did not remove McEwen far more quickly, particularly when the report said McEwen was no longer cooperating with investigators as required by law.  ‘The first day an employee of mine stopped cooperating would be his last day on the job,’ Franks said. (Christopher Wills, “Quinn Took 4 Months To Remove Child-Welfare Chief,” The Associated Press, 11/15/11)