A new bill in response to the 2020 LaSalle Veterans’ Home COVID-19 outbreak would allow inspectors general of state agencies to subpoena former state workers.
Subpoenas in LaSalle Veterans’ Home COVID-19 Outbreak
State Sen. Sue Rezin unveiled the legislation on May 14, 2021. The bill was prompted by an investigation into the LaSalle Veterans’ Home COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, which killed 36 veterans.
The former director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Linda Chapa LaVia, and the former LaSalle Veterans’ Home administrator, Angela Mehlbrech, left their positions in the aftermath of the deadly LaSalle Veterans’ Home COVID-19 outbreak.
Rezin said she filed Senate Bill 1445 in response to the decisions by Chapa LaVia and Mehlbrech not to cooperate with the investigation by the inspector general of the Illinois Department of Human Services.
SB1445 would allow agency inspectors general to subpoena former state employees for investigations undertaken to “correct a systemic issue, problem, or deficiency.” The bill defines a former employee as “a former agency director, senior administrator, or any other individual who had the authority to implement policy action for the department, an agency under contract with the department, or any facility or program operated for or licensed or funded by the department.”
State Rep. David Welter also passed a House Resolution by a vote of 111-0 that calls on the Illinois Auditor General to conduct a separate investigation of the deadly LaSalle Veterans’ Home COVID-19 outbreak.
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