“She recognizes that MDC, one of the institutions she oversees, has been through difficult times in the past few years. An employee was convicted of sexually assaulting a client two years ago, and more recently, a legislative subcommittee has looked into whether MDC should be closed. They’ve almost lost their Medicaid funding six times in the past decade for noncompliance with federal laws, including some situations that had caused, or were likely to cause, “serious injury, harm, impairment or death” to a client.
Trying to turn the institution around, she hired Gene Haire as MDC’s new director in 2011, and he’s brought in a wide range of professional expectations, as well as new staff members. They’ve vowed to turn MDC into a safe, caring facility that provides beneficial treatment to its residents, who are developmentally disabled and often have a co-occurring mental illness; they’ve all been committed here by a court, usually for being a danger to themselves or others.
“I love what we are doing here,” Whiting Sorrell said. “We have really undertaken in the past couple of years recrafting — almost a rebirth — of the center. As I look back on the last two years, and more importantly look forward to the next few years, the garden is a symbol of what we have planted and the success we have.”
Oh Montana, Montana, Montana. Does it seem to you that some of the same minded people run DPHHS the same as they do DOC? Let’s break this down just with this small excerpt taken.
Let’s go from the bottom up….“the garden is a symbol of what we have planted and the success we have.”
Hmmmm….seems like some major fibbing is going on the same way that it has with the Department of Corrections. Did we not just hear about the tragedy that happened at MDC just a few weeks ago? Here are the articles on the situation that the media did not cover.
What about these numerous articles you will find in those links from investigative journalists Eve Byron and Mike Dennison exposing many situations with the clients and complaints from parents. Also mentioning situations involving injury to the staff? All of this within the last two glorious years.
Is this what Montana Department Officials call success? Do they call us hillbillies also? We are too dumb to figure things out? Or they just hide things as there has never been any mention of this in the newspapers. Same with the incident just exposed at Montana State Prison. Officers state that this kind of thing has been going on for well over a decade and nothing happens.
“They’ve vowed to turn MDC into a safe, caring facility that provides beneficial treatment to its residents, who are developmentally disabled and often have a co-occurring mental illness; they’ve all been committed here by a court, usually for being a danger to themselves or others.”
Well, hello! This whole statement is ludicrous. Where do they make the vow to make it safe for the staff? I have seen physical scars from horrible tragedies on former staff workers. They just had this incident a few weeks ago where a male client kicked a female staff worker in the pelvic area and broke her pelvic bone and were concerned about her being paralyzed. How do they hide these things and instead make these flowery, grandiose, false statements?
MDC has obtained some clients that are definitely a danger to themselves and others. Unless DPHHS does not think that sending a female staff worker in an ambulance to the hospital with broken bones and possibly being paralyzed any danger or concern. This facility has been concerned about how things look and retaining their funding that they have not really put the preventive care of their workers or the clients in the forefront. There are clients that are living there that are convicted of being a sexual offender if not predator. They are in a co-ed environment with other clients with disabilities. There is not a fence around the place and there has been many instances that clients have gone off on their own into the community and showed up at citizens homes in Boulder.
“They’ve almost lost their Medicaid funding six times in the past decade for noncompliance with federal laws, including some situations that had caused, or were likely to cause, “serious injury, harm, impairment or death” to a client.”
This statement right there brings up a major piece of the puzzle about the staff that they keep claiming everything on from two years ago, with the sexual assault. They have had in the past decade (10) years almost lost their Medicaid funding six times. Including some situations that had caused, or were likely to cause, “serious injury, harm, impairment or death” to a client. If you go back and look at the documents they were already losing their funding before they charged Mr.Whetstone two years ago. It was in the internal investigative documents that they had “millions of dollars” that they were concerned about. They had to find a patsy. They had to make an example of Mr.Whetstone, not only so they could regain their funding by showing the Feds that they were doing something but County Attorney Matt Johnson stated at the sentence hearing to the judge and for the record that “they needed to use him as an example to the rest of the community that they cannot get away with the behavior.” Because County Attorney Matt Johnson knew that there has been a decade of these issues. He knew about the funding. He knew that when he swept all of those other crimes under the rug, just like it has been done with DOC and all the sex going on with inmates, he had to get a point across to the Boulder community and the staff that works there that they needed to stop any pattern of the last 10 years! Especially so they can maintain their funding.
County Attorney Matt Johnson even made it more of a point by “fashioning” his own plea bargain that he did not even go by the law. They tricked both Mr.Whetstone and his wife into thinking that it was mandatory, them not finding out that it was not until after the sentencing when County Attorney Matt Johnson was bragging to the newspapers stating that is exactly what he did. ”Fashioned” it. He made it mandatory for Mr.Whetstone to have to become a registered sex offender. How crazy is that if he thought he was dangerous enough to have to be registered for “inappropriate touch” but allows him to fly to clear across country to Florida and live there for almost half a year? Friends, something does not add up and smells very, very rotten! County Attorney Matt Johnson went on to still say rape on all three clients although he has not had any clue to all of the events and how unreliable and how un-credible those clients were. One trying to stab Mr.Whetstones girlfriend at the time in the neck. This is what an attorney goes by? Also, Matt Johnson not going by the plea bargain that is even in the court transcripts he goes a step further and adds more to the plea bargain. How can he get away with that? I have heard here in Montana that a County Attorney can state his “opinion” they can also be “flamboyant.” Ladies and gentleman, I don’t know about you but when I was growing up we called a “lie” just what it was a “lie”. I guess they have become fancy now and use this kind of terminology to cover up a lie. Again, they must consider us the hillbillies that won’t know any better. At one time “perjury” was considered lying, but I don’t think they use that anymore.
So, we have DPHHS glossing things up leaving out details of another tragic incident to a staff worker, I suppose it’s not a big deal to them if staff wind up in the hospital or in prison. As long as they maintain their funding, but it is not out of concern for the staff that work there. If you remember some of the top salaries at DPHHS here in Montana were well over $100,000 per year and some closer to $200,000 per year. Sounds like they are willing to sacrifice anyone and push it under the rug as long as they get to keep their money. I guarantee you that none of the daily staff that work at MDC are making that kind of money to put their life at risk.
The garden sounds cute. But I want to hear what are they really doing to keep staff safe and to keep clients safe? I don’t want to hear a bunch of flowery nonsense. These are people’s lives and their families lives that are at risk.
Where is our State Governor in all of this? We have DOC and DPHHS sounding more and more like “Peyton Place.” Does he agree that County Attorneys can get away with this kind of misconduct? That these state department heads can get away with all of this? I am sure Governor Brian Scwheitzer does not like being lied too. And if they are giving him the same song and dance as the rest of us then he is getting lies also. I am sure they are not thinking that he is a “hick” like they think the rest of us are…..do you think? I’m beginning to wonder if Governor Schweitzer really knows what is going on his state.