A DuPage County judge has ordered the state’s highest-ranking public health official to appear in court to explain why he shouldn’t be held in contempt for failing to turn over investigative records related to potential elder abuse.
Prosecutors asked Judge Kathryn Creswell on Tuesday to make the finding after representatives from the Illinois Department of Public Health failed to appear in court. Assistant State’s Attorney Ken Tatarelis said the department has been essentially unresponsive to subpoenas issued as part of grand jury investigations into undisclosed allegations of abuse at three DuPage nursing homes.
“They responded, but their responses were, in a sense, nonresponsive to the information sought in the subpoenas,” he said.
Creswell ordered Illinois Department of Public Health Director LaMar Hasbrouck to appear in court July 26 and either provide the records or explain why his office has not complied with the subpoenas. If Hasbrouck is found to be in contempt of court, he could face a variety of penalties, from a fine to jail time.
Tatarelis said the records involve complaints about potential elder abuse at three unnamed nursing facilities. He said the state initially investigates any such reports, and prosecutors want records of those investigations.
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DuPage judge orders state health chief to appear in court