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Is There Something They’re Not Telling Us About BHD?

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on August 29, 2010

From Milwaukee County First:

Since the story about BHD first broke early in the year, I have been hearing rumors that the sexual assaults occurring at the complex included staff-on-patient assaults.  These rumors never included any specific details, so I never bothered to repeat them.  But those rumors came back to my memory when reading the articles that appeared in this morning’s issue of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Namely, it was the article written by Peter Hoeffel, executive director of NAMI Greater Milwaukee than triggered the memories, when he wrote this (emphasis mine):

Milwaukee County employees with a history of sexual misconduct need to be removed from the system of care. The State of Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services needs to increase its monitoring and oversight role, and the appropriate accreditation of the facility needs to be expedited, which will require technical assistance to implement safety and recovery-focused systems of care.

This raises a red flag and a number of questions, including:

  • Has there been incidents of staff assaulting patients?
  • Or is it that there are some staff members with a history of sexual misconduct outside of the facility?
  • Was Mr. Hoeffel’s line just a common sense suggestion and not an implication of any wrong doing?
  • Was Mr. Hoeffel referring to Dr. Strelnick?
  • Was Mr. Hoeffel referring to Milwaukee County employees or to the private agency employees or both?
  • County employees have to go through back ground checks to be hired.  Do they do that periodically to make sure nothing new came up since being hired?
  • Similarly, what safety measures are in place for the employees of the private agencies?
  • If they do do background checks for the private agency employees, who pays for them? The agency or the county?

Hopefully, the answers to these questions will come out in the near future.

I’d hate to think that the County would have people with histories of sexual misconduct on the payroll and working with the patients, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility.


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