Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Meth Clinic Owner: Lake County Coroner Richard Keller "Dropped The Ball"; Keller Was Paid $70,000/yr As Clinic Director Says News-Sun (UPDATED)

As we anticipated a short while ago, the operators of the now-closed private methadone clinic, the "Green Dragonfly," which is under investigation for its involvement in the death of Lindenhurst resident Steven Vaughn from a drug overdose, has thrown their former medical director, Lake County Coroner Richard Keller, under the bus.

Keller is also under investigation for allegedly not following proper procedures in the events that may have lead to Vaughn's death from a methadone overdose (Vaughn was also taking Xanax when Keller prescribed the methadone), and he recently resigned as the clinic's medical director, though he vowed not to resign as coroner. Just before this story broke, Keller announced that he would not run for coroner again, despite just having won re-election. Keller claimed he was tired of politics and fundraising, but it wasn't hard to suspect something else was behind his decision.

Now, of course, the story of the investigation is out, and Keller admitted the investigation led him not to run again. You may recall that last week, the Chicago Tribune quoted the clinic owners' as follows:

"All along, Green Dragonfly has relied on the medical advice of Dr. Keller, who is also the Lake County coroner," the clinic said in a prepared statement. "As we continue to investigate the tragedy of the death of Mr. Vaughn, we will hold accountable the failure of anyone to follow the law and proper procedures."

Sounded ominous to us. Today, however, the News-Sun has the big story, and it quotes one of the clinic owners, Mary Olloway (not the one who also owns a Wisconsin strip club), who told the newspaper Keller spread himself too thin trying to do both jobs. "I think he dropped the ball, and we're all suffering for it," Olloway said.

Olloway also told the News-Sun that Keller put in around three hours a day (15 hours a week) at the clinic, for which he was paid $70,000 a year (which is the glaring main headline in this morning's print edition). This, of course, is on top of his salary as Lake County Coroner (around $100,000/yr), which is supposed to be a full time job.

Olloway hired Keller, whom she previously knew as a family friend, as medical director of the clinic in October 2008. The position, which paid about $70,000 a year, required him to work around three hours a day, Olloway said. [snip]

Now, as the clinic prepares to shut its doors later this week, Olloway said she's unhappy with the way Keller has handled the situation.

"He goes back to his regular life (as coroner) and we're left standing here," Olloway said, while fighting back tears. "His intentions hopefully were right in the beginning, but where is he now?"

Fabulous. The News-Sun called for Keller's resignation back on August 17, but Keller made no moves to do so.

And, of course, we'd like to keep reminding everyone that the Lake County Democrats, led by State Senator Terry Link, loudly claimed this is all political persecution. Of course, the last time the notoriously thin-skinned Link used that excuse 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.

The Dems have been quite silent lately, though.

UPDATED 9:25 p.m.: Here's an odd story related to the Green Dragonfly clinic that popped up on the Daily Herald website late this afternoon:

A Lake Villa Township man denied Wednesday he gave a friend a bottle of methadone dispensed by a besieged Waukegan clinic.

Jeffrey Ranalli, 23, is charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance for passing along methadone he was prescribed at The Green Dragonfly clinic. [snip]

Assistant State's Attorney Steven Derue said the case against Ranalli began last month when Round Lake Beach police served a search warrant at a house in that community.

A resident of the house, who is not being identified because he has yet to be charged with any crime, was found to be in possession of three bottles of methadone, Derue said.

Ranalli's name was on each bottle, Derue said, and the man told police he had been given the drug used to treat heroin addiction by Ranalli.

Police interviewed Ranalli, who said he told them he had received three bottles of the drug at The Green Dragonfly every Sunday for the past three to four months. Ranalli told police he routinely took two of the three doses himself, Derue said, and gave the third to friends "whenever they were sick."

I would imagine this kind of stuff unfortunately happens all too often, and it's questionable whether Dr. Keller is at fault somehow here (was the amount given more than any individual would be expected to use personally...? I have no clue...), but it sure don't help his situation.


Anonymous said...

Didn't Keller tell everyone that he had volunteered his services? Now it turns out he was getting paid $70,000 to work 3 hours a day?

Did I get this right?

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

That's what I heard him say, Lou. Dr. Keller always claimed that he did what he did NOT for money but because he cared. Oh well. The clinic is now closed and it appears that Dr. Keller has a lot of 'splainin' to do.

Anonymous said...

In a major sign of rising GOP fortunes on the north shore, comrade jan is going to have her first gop challenger.

this is good for 5 reasons.

1)if she lost, she'd be gone. YAY!

2)it keeps her army of patronage hacks and exconvicts pinned down in Dan and julie's district rather than being able to come up here to help them. If pup couldn't win with every chicago 11-2 m-thursday cook county truck driver making phone calls for him, he'll have a tough time with just democat and catwoman there to help him.

3)it severely weakens the 10th dems. Without the chicago machine they're a bunch of bloggers and sunday lox and strawberry cream cheese liberals without any political acumen.

4)growing parties play offense in enemy territory. Evanston is enemy territory we haven't done well in since the mid 90's.

5) an energetic republican organization in the 9th will help mark expand into the city in the general election and carry his message to places he otherwise wouldn't be playing in. Door knockers in evanston would be a huge unexpected boost.


Anonymous said...

Hey Foklaes, this is great news. Jan is a reckless piece of work who should be thrown out with her best buddy, Pelosi. But I digress. Let's keep the focus here in the 10th. Whatever we can do to help guarantee success in the 9th and the 10th is something to consider in a positive vein. The 'baggage' surrounding the Democrats at every level is just staggering. I chuckled today at the newest attempt by Obama and his team to teach our nations' kids all about him. I think the American public is fast waking up to reality. Too late, to be sure, but better late than not at all.
So who's the lucky one in the 9th, Foklaes? Let's get our base active and alive and I know we can make some major changes all over our State.

Anonymous said...

speaking of baggage - let's make sure we hold our own accountable this time around, to avoid a fresh round of GOP embarrassments (Ryan, Adams, Del Re, etc). Last thing we need is to give the Dems a fresh legitimate complaint...

Anonymous said...

Keller is looking at a loss of his mcal license and jail time.

Anonymous said...

that's why coulson is dead woman walking. You want to carry lit for a candidate next fall whose being nailed for being endorsed by governor blago? I don't care how desperate you are, she got into bed with a really dirty dog and got up with too many fleas for me.

Further the fact that she has democrats running her campaign is just awful to me.


tikkunolam said...

FOKLAES, "challenger" can mean lots of different things. Mike Quigley had a challenger for the special, too, but that didn't mean really much of everything. Just because there's a Republican on the ballot, it doesn't mean Jan is scurrying for cover or suddenly not helping out other local Dems. It's the 9th district, don't get cocky.

Anonymous said...

Jan is the mothership for the loony liberals. If she was gone, they'd have no base or help and we could spend all our time ending melissa bean and trying to snag seats in the city, building a republican fortress in northern cook and lake county. This guy took on barney frank at harvard-he's what we need-republicans with guts and energy.

For the haters that think we have no shot, realize phil crane's aides founded the heritage foundation-the most powerful right wing think tank in the world the last 30 years. bean now holds that seat. Democrats hold seats in the south where 3/4 people in district are pro-life and single households have more guns than all of glencoe. It's doable.


Crazy4glf said...

1. It is unique that the people who have no problem with Limbaugh, Coulter, Steele, and Buchanan (he said what, again?) are experts on who the 'leader of the loons are.'
I think the GOP/TA's efforts as Mr/Ms. Congeniality are out the window, yet again.

2. If people in government shouldn't be pursuing two full-time jobs at once, I wonder what Mr. Sullivan would have to say about that. Regardless of the rebuttal, if one is comparing apples to apples (two full-time jobs with significant responsibilities and compensation) unless one wants to be seen as subjective, both are wrong or both are ok.

3. It is not only the Lee Daniel's, Gary Del Re's, Pate Philip's, George Ryan's, et all (Sanford, Foley, Craig,), Foklaes. It is the unwillingness to adapt, to demonstrate a concern ('compassion,' if you will) for others not in your tax bracket, and to truly negotiate without saying things behind the backs of those at the negotiating table.
It is the policies of prioritizing over-turning Roe instead of making us safe (isn't that right, Mr. Ridge?), villifying people who don't pursue your lifestyle, the looking the other way when gobs of money are borrowed, then spent in a questionable fashion, and when less than intelligent, innovative people are elected to high office (Palin, DeLay, and Bush, Jr. among others).

As I've said before, if one wants to be seen as negotiating in good faith, one needs to do away with pejorative comments, self-promotion, and pre-conceived myths.

If one wants to be seen as a fiscal conservative, this cannot be of very recent onset.

If one wants to refer to themselves as compassionate conservatives, being hypocritical; not trying to limit hateful, false speech; and not providing tangible alternatives to society's biggest problems is not a way to go about it that I'd recommend.
People have a freedom of speech. Though, they are also free to be evaluated in some degree based on their unique actions, comments, and positions. Its human nature.

Where are the Jim Ryan's of today's era within the GOP? I think even his views would be seen as too moderate and unacceptable to the current local and national GOP 'leadership.'

Abandon principles and then slam others for not adhering to them. NICE!

Anonymous said...


Yet another rant....Dennis Miller does a much better job my friend, however, I feel compelled to respond:

1. Yes, I would rather listen to Michael Steele than Jesse Jackson, Sr. or Louis Farrahkahn.

2. Sullivan has 2 part-time jobs. Keller has 4: Coroner, HealthReach, Green Dragon Fly and massage therapy with his wife.

3. I'll take Sanford over Marion Barry, Edwards, Clinton, and of course Elliott Spitzer.

4. I'll take Foley (who resigned after messaging not touching) over Barney Franks (male prostitution ring) Gerry Studds (1st Congressman busted for having sex with an underage male intern) and Mel Reynolds (sex with a 16 year old campaign worker).

5. I'll take Craig over Ted "blonde in every pond" Kennedy, Bobby "take care of Marilyn" Kennedy and I could go on an on and on....

6. Freedom of speech is important - you have the freedom to speak and you should respect others freedom as well. Not only those that believe in what you believe.

7. If this blog is filled with GOP types - why waste your time ranting? Do you really think there is anything you could say to change someone's mind?

8. BTW, I refrained from discussing the issue of less than intelligent people being elected from the Democrat pool - it would take too long to list them all.

9. Republicans are not rich financially, but we are rich with pride and dignity. We are not quitters, we don't allow ourselves to be considered victims and expect others to care for us. We work - sometimes 2 and 3 jobs if necessary. We live paycheck to paycheck. But we are proud. Proud to be self-sufficient. Proud to make 15 or 20 bucks an hour and still keep a roof over our heads and food on the table.

tikkunolam said...

Wait...what? Crazy, I'm a Democrat, and I have literally no clue what the hell you're talking about. There are two discussions here: Richard Keller and the challenger to Jan Schakowsky. Your comments address neither. Not only do they not address neither, they address, well, nothing at all, as far as I can tell. You're killing me, mate.

Team America said...

Crazy, if you've lost Tikki, you've lost your base, friend.

Time to hang it up.

Anonymous said...

regarding the most recent DH article - I thought methadone doses had to be taken front of clinic employees at addict clinics in order to prevent this crap?

Anonymous said...

Pollak and the 9th R's need our full support. They're on their own next fall, but we need to spread out the democrats and make them fight, trust me, we'll see a lot less cook county patronage trash in the 10th if jan's job's at stake. no telling what will come out in the blago trial or how bad obama will fail. Remember no one took dan seriously at this point in 05. If our party is going to win again, we have to fight EVERYWHERE.

FOKLAES is a moderate, but I'm an extreme hater of the party leadership and people like coulson and mckenna on the left who have been doormats for democrats and dick green's campaign manager on the right who have been corrupt, spineless, visionless thugs who saw the party as a way for him and his wife to gain power and money while destroying our party and ability to govern. Green's manager and his wife traded our party's reputation for a generation for a couple of dinners at bobby vanns and terri schiavo.

Crazy-you're a nut and I'd urge you to buy a newspaper and a better education than the one ellen got. Democrats and their media enablers like rich miller and carol marin, have spent a generation telling illinois voters that republicans would make homosexuality illegal, put a gun in every classroom and force your daughter to have that baby she picked up because she wouldn't wear contraception at that lake house last weekend where she smoked a bong.

after 30 years of republican dominance, 7 gop supreme court justices, most gop appointed federal judges,

-gun violence is at an all time low

-she can still get an abortion no matter what.
-prayer in school came from a democrat statehouse.
-homosexuals have more rights than they've ever had.


Republicans in illinois on the other hand today have to suffer from

-a state 47th in jobs. If you take away the 500,000 political hacks on the payrolls in illinois government, we're dead last.

-a state losing population.

-a state whose top university has been permanently destroyed credibility wise as a place for political hacks.

-a cook county board president who governs on a 3rd grade level and speaks with the intelligence of a 6 3/4 year old.

-a state comptroller who thinks dating services like jdate are luxury items. OY!

-a federal government disarming our defenses in the war on terror like only a french general could.

-a state department that traded 250 american lives so that a country that has undermined us in afghanistan can get an oil deal in a country that spent 30 years funding and training anti-israel terrorists.


Anonymous said...

Foklaes, try sleeping at 2:17 a.m. You are going to be permanently sleep deprived if you keep on that schedule. I agree with much of what you posted, hard not to. We do have a huge task facing us, but one I think we can overcome by working together toward a better Illinois for all of us. Getting rid of the truly scary things like Ellen Beth Gill, Gash, Schakowsky and all of her buddies should be a goal realized. We are a disgraced State because of folks like those listed above and many more. We have our work cut out for us, Foklaes, and not a second to waste. Let's help get our troop organized and ready to win those we value in February and again in November of 2010. Let's get going. And you better get some rest.

Anonymous said...

FOKLAES, McKenna is now gone from his party leadership position. Let's focus on the job at hand, shall we?

Louis G. Atsaves

Crazy4glf said...

I'll keep it brief. I know that facts and verbosity make GOP'ers lose focus and lose interest.

Farrakhan isn't a Dem. I think that Falwell and Robertson are Repubs. Their universities are unique and that's not a good thing.

Michael Steele SAID he was both pro and anti-Abortion within 5 minutes. (Leadership defined). If the government needs to 'stay out of my life' why are we expecting them to tell us what procedures we can pursue (hypocrisy 101?)?

Spitzer, Barry, and Clinton are no longer in office. Sanford, Ensign, Burton (affair), and Craig have stayed in office until at least after their untoward behavior was known.

Sanford was a pioneer in the relatinoships - amorous and professional - that he pursued and ruined. Also, there is a questionable use of funds that would make Gary Del Re take notice (the guy Curran ran against, for those scoring at home).

Pride is not far from a cardinal sin. I am not viewing myself as a victim. I just want for others what I expect for myself. Some call it based on a faith-tradition. You'd think the compassionate, supposedly morally superior and righteous repubs would know better but based on their comments, theatrics, and utter disdain, I would think not.

Finally, is the Assessor position or the State Senate position part-time? If one of them is, why the high salary? Or do you not want to be bothered with objective inquiry?

Anonymous said...

Crazy, since you didn't get the message the first time, one last time.

The stuff you and every other democrat in this area throws at us, has nothing to do with us. Your government however is 1st in corruption and last in job creation. As we documented after 30 years of republican dominance, you still have abortion rights, gun violence is at an all time low, homosexuals have more rights than at any time in history.

What we don't have is a government in springfield or dc that gives a rats ass about people like, me and ta and king louis, conservative veteran, baxters mom, and others that work for a living. That create a jobs and are entreprenuers and don't want hand outs but hands up the ladder of american society.

Your president is giving a speech to america's children next week, but while kids across the country attend the public schools he never attended or sent his kids to or did a damn thing to improve, his kids will be at a 40k a year private school where they will be insulated from the teachers unions that have destroyed the american education system.

They also won't have their acceptance to the u of I jeopardized because of scumsucking politicians like julie the hog hamos that used their state offices to play favorites. they also won't have to worry about absurd tuition hikes, because Elizabeth Coulsons favorite governor thought it more prudent to give free rides to seniors than help taxpayers get educations.

Now we are being asked to front for tax hikes in cook county nad the state for what? 6 figure salaries for a forest preserve hacks, while my friends get 37k to get shot at in afghanistan.

Long story short, take your trash to fringe blogs like catwoman's where they believe the trash that even democrats know is fiction designed to distract their masses from the cold hard truth that it will always be for chicago democrats all about power and contracts.


Anonymous said...


I think you need to change your name to just plain "Crazy"