Sunday, August 16, 2009

Richard Keller Methadone Clinic Scandal Attracts MSM Attention; Was a Cover-up Involved?

The investigation of Dr. Richard Keller, the Democratic Lake County Coroner, for alleged misconduct with relation to a death of an individual who was given methadone at a Waukegan clinic by Keller, which death Keller then investigated as coroner, is attracting more scrutiny in the main stream media. Today, the Chicago Tribune ran an interesting story focusing on the recent proliferation of methadone treatment clinics, and gave some more details on his operation of the Green Dragonfly Clinic (how's that for a 60's-era holdover name?).

Among other interesting factoids in the Trib article are the following:

Keller acknowledged that he and the two women who own the clinic have no background in addiction treatment, which is recommended but not required by law. Methadone clinics must be registered and evaluated by the DEA, the U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and the state human services agency's Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, officials said.

The state inspected Green Dragonfly in July, citing staff for violations that are being remedied, Keller said. One violation included the failure to report Vaughn's death as required, officials said.

On Friday, the state declined the Tribune's request for a copy of the report, citing exemptions in Illinois' open records law, including one in which a request can be denied if it "would interfere with pending or actually and reasonably contemplated law enforcement proceedings."

Not a total shock that the state is reluctant to cough up this report (various agencies, as well as former guv Blagojevich, are famous for being cagey when it comes to releasing documents), but the fact that the clinic failed to report the death is extremely interesting. Combined with the fact that Keller did the coroner's investigation, it seems there's plenty to look at here. The Trib is usually pretty good about eventually getting hold of documents it wants, so we'll see how this pans out.

Keller admitted that his decision not to run for re-election in 2012 was influenced by the investigation, and not because of his distaste for political fundraising as he originally claimed publicly (not that anyone--especially me--bought it).

As usual, the Lake County Democrats, led by State Senator Terry Link, are claiming this is all political persecution. Wait, what was the last time the notoriously thin-skinned Link used that excuse? Oh, yeah, it was when his petition scandal broke, and he claimed that the allegations of dead people's signatures appearing on his election petition was all concocted by 'Republican operatives.' We all know how that turned out.

Keller has always had a rather unique outlook on his job.

Not to get ahead of ourselves, but we're wondering if the Republican Leadership Team of Sheriff Mark Curran, County Clerk Willard Helander, Treasurer Bob Skidmore, and Superintendent of Schools Roycelee Wood, should start looking for a potential coroner candidate to add to the team should Keller resign or be forced out prior to the end of the nomination period for the upcoming 2010 elections.


Anonymous said...


Read the article and it sure looks bleak for Keller. Just a couple of thoughts:

Michael Jackson's doc is under investigation for the drugs prescribed to Michael, that appear to be the cause of death.

Dr. Keller, as I recall, attempted to have St. Theresa's hospital charged (Yes, hospital) charged with murder for failing to expediently address the needs of a young lady in the E.R. complaining of chest pains and dying of a heart attack. I will check the archives of the News Sun articles - I believe it was 2005 or 2006.

I wonder if investigators are looking into the fact that perhaps the final dose of methodone provided Steven Vaughn may be the ultimate cause of death.

And to the Democrats reading this post, when the DEA is involved, it's not politics - it's policy. So spare us your rant or simply state your mantra that Democrats need not abide by the laws, even if they create them.

Anonymous said...

What laws would you be referring to there, anon 10:03? The DEA regulations, created under the Nixon and Regan administrations or the state methadone regs, promulgated under the Thompson and Edgar administrations? As to not following the law, excuse me but I think a township assessor is pre-supposed to know and understand the law. It's what they're paid for. But our geriatric State's Attorney has ruled that the GOP Antioch Township Assessor granting herself a homestead exemption on two properties was a 'clerical' error. To date, the assessor has not refunded the village the taxes she dodged. But Waller has already closed the investigation.

So spare us, amigo. The situational adherence and enforcement of laws you complain of seems to be in full swing by your very own "Bleedership" Team.