AURORA, Ill. – Following a state hearing looking into the deaths that occurred at the state-run Quincy Veterans Home, state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, has sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to release the documents and e-mail communications between the facility and state agencies.
“Our hearings have revealed many troubling facts about the handling of the outbreaks by Gov. Rauner’s administration,” Kifowit said. “It is extremely alarming that although the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and CDC were well aware of the situation, they failed to notify residents and staff of the dangers that existed.”
A report published by WBEZ revealed that between 2015 and 2017, 3 separate outbreaks of Legionaries disease resulted in 13 deaths and another 61 infections at state-run Veterans’ home located in Quincy. Within the last month, the House and Senate have held joint Veterans’ Affairs hearings investigating the Rauner administration’s handling and response to the situation. The second hearing held on Feb. 7 furthered revealed the administration failed to inform the facility’s staff of the outbreak, leaving them to find out through media reports and Facebook.
The Illinois Freedom of Information Act stipulates that all government documents and policies are public records and are open to inspection, copying and publication.
“As chair of the Government Transparency Committee and a Veteran myself, it is my priority to get to the bottom of what happened at Quincy to make sure it never happens again,” Kifowit said. “I hope the governor and his administration will comply with the FOIA request and release their e-mails and documents so we can bring justice to our Veterans who we lost there and finally learn exactly what happened. If they continue to refuse, I will seek legislative action to compel them to comply.”
Visit Rep Kifowit’s website
200-1S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
1677 Montgomery Rd.
Aurora, IL 60504
(630) 585-1357 FAX