Central Illinois Proud: Durbin, Duckworth support AG investigation into Rauner administration’s role in vets home outbreak

WASHINGTON DC – The Illinois Attorney General’s office has launched an investigation into the way Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration handled the deadly outbreak at the Quincy Illinois Veterans Home.

A spokeswoman told the Chicago Tribune yesterday that Lisa Madigan’s team is looking into whether any laws were violated in response to the 2015 discovery of Legionella that left more than a dozen veterans dead over several years.

Rauner’s administration claims it has been transparent, while the Illinois GOP suggests the move is political, given the timing of Wednesday night’s debate.

Asked if his administration mismanaged the crisis during the debate, Rauner responded “absolutely not.”

“We took action immediately to protect our veterans and our staff,” Rauner said.

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) said Thursday that full transparency and accountability are crucial, in a joint statement:

“It appears that the Governor and his administration deliberately postponed announcing an outbreak of deadly Legionnaires’ disease at IVH Quincy for days and weeks while Veterans died or became severely ill at the facility. The documents revealed by WBEZ make clear that the Rauner administration treated this as a public relations crisis when they should’ve treated it like the public health emergency it was. It’s simply inexcusable, and we support Attorney General Madigan’s investigation into the administration’s handling of this crisis that left 14 people dead and many more sick. Full transparency and accountability is the least the families of those who lost loved ones deserve.”

Illinois state officials have been unable to contain an ongoing Legionnaires’ disease crisis at the home since 2015.

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