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State of Illinois

Bryant: Indicted Choate Administrators Should Be On Leave

Terri Bryant

A southern Illinois lawmaker says the three administrators from Choate Mental Health and Rehabilitation Center are still on the job - and she wants to change that.

State Sen. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) says Bryant Davis, Teresa Smith, and Gary Goins should all be on administrative leave. She says Official Misconduct - a Class 3 Felony - is too serious for the Illinois Department of Human Services to look the other way.

"When those kind of charges are there, it's really unconscionable to leave them in the facility. So, we all want to make sure that the residents there are cared for - that they're protected. And sometimes that protection is making sure that we get the bad actors out."

Bryant says she's had meetings with D-H-S leaders to explain her position.

"Let's just take into consideration the fact that administrators have access to documents, to data, to employees who may have to testify in this case later. The whole purpose of putting people on administrative leave is to get them out of the facility so that they no longer have any kind of influence there, or the ability to access those kind of documents."

She says it's also about parity - she says rank-and-file workers would be on administrative leave if they were in the same situation, but administrators appear to be treated differently.

The three are charged in connection to the battery of a Choate client - they're accused of lying to investigators and trying to cover up the incident. Another employee is charged with the battery.

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