Tuesday, February 28, 2012

58th District GOP Wars Continue: Turelli to File Ethics Complaint Against Dr. Mark Neerhof (UPDATED: Neerhof Response and Counterpunch)

Just when you thought the press release war between Republican candidates Lauren Turelli and Dr. Mark Neerhof in the 58th Legislative District (retiring State Rep. Karen May's seat), couldn't get any more contentious, Turelli has just now upped the ante by accusing her opponent of failing to make required disclosures of payments he received in the course of his medical practice. Turelli notes that other doctors who do business with the State of Illinois, such as 29th Senate Candidate Dr. Arie Friedman, have made such disclosures. We are contacting the Neerhof campaign for a response, as usual, so stay tuned...

Dr. Neerhof Fails to Disclose Medicaid Payments to State Officials

LAKE FOREST — Republican State Representative candidate Lauren Turelli announced today that an ethics complaint will be filed against Dr. Mark Neerhof for his failure to disclose Illinois Medicaid payments on his mandatory Statement of Economic Interest form.

“Each candidate for state office is required to answer 8 very specific, financial questions which determine whether you or any entity you are associated with is making money from, and in, the State of Illinois. Dr. Neerhof answered ‘None’. The Illinois Department of Human Services released a list of Medicaid providers that included a payout to Dr. Neerhof of $86,659.00 in 2011 and $71,386.00 in 2010,” said Turelli.

“When confronted with the facts, Dr. Neerhof refused to respond. While he may be able to ignore voters and reporters, he will not be able to ignore the law enforcement officials who will be provided a copy of his Medicaid financial history.

Each candidate completing the mandatory financial disclosure forms provided by the Secretary of State must swear to the following: I declare that this Statement of Economic Interests (including any accompanying schedules and statements) has been examined by me and to the best of my knowledge and belief is a true, correct and complete statement of my economic interests as equired by the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act. I understand that the penalty for willfully filing a false or incomplete statement shall be a fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment in a penal institution other than the penitentiary not to exceed one year, or both fine and imprisonment.

"Dr. Mark Neerhof is well known in the community and in the media for his extreme rhetoric. In the past few weeks, Dr. Neerhof’s extreme accusations have reached new levels, having falsely labeled me as ‘corrupt’ and virtually calling me a liar, without any basis other than his imagination,” said Turelli. “Despite his outlandish claims against me, and the obvious fact that he is apparently hiding something from state officials, I will not reciprocate. I will not call Dr. Neerhof ‘corrupt’ or label him a ‘criminal’ or a ‘liar’. I will simply ask state officials to draw their own conclusions from their investigations.”

Turelli added that other doctors doing business with, and in, the State of Illinois, such as Neerhof’s colleague, Dr. Arie Friedman, who is running for State Senate from the same area, have fully disclosed their financial relationships with the government.

UPDATED 2/29/12 12:00 pm: Right on cue, this is the response I received from the Neerhof campaign, along with a counterpunch going back to the "Cambridge" issue; Neerhof is essentially claiming that Turelli's claim to have received a degree from Cambridge was not an isolated incident (you may have to click on and enlarge the picture below to see the example to which Neerhof is referring). Read on below:

I have reviewed my disclosure and it is accurate. With respect to claims about Medicaid payments, I receive no direct payments for services rendered for Medicaid patients. I am a salaried employee of NorthShore University HealthSystem.

As far as claims by my campaign concerning Ms. Turelli, we need use no other words other than her own. Turelli has claimed a graduate degree from the University of Cambridge, but the University says that she dropped out “without gaining any qualification…” Lauren Turelli’s claim of graduating from Cambridge is false. She has been making this claim for at least the last 5 years, including in written representations to obtain positions in public service. Attached, for example, is a copy of Turelli’s 2007 application to volunteer for the City of Lake Forest obtained through a FOIA request. Under education, it comes as no surprise that she claimed a Cambridge degree. Those are her words, not ours. We already have enough people in Springfield who don’t tell us the truth; we don’t need to add another.


Brad and Nancy said...

neefhof and his team started the negative campaign, now they are going to have play some serious defense. Looks like Friedman did the right thing, but neerhof is trying to hide something.

Sloth said...

Now we know why the good DOCTOR Neerhof doesn't want to make serious reforms to Medicaid. He is making tall cash off the Medicaid system and has no reason to make the hard choices that Turelli wants to make. Not disclosing his reimbursements On the Statment of Economic Interest like the GOOD DOCTOR Friedman is beyond troubling. We are beyond what is he hiding. We know. Take some unsolicited advice DOCTOR Neerhof, drop out because you certainly seem like you will be just like the other folks in politics that are trying to look out for number 1.

Anonymous said...

Stop hyperventilating. The SEI form specifically requests that payments from the state for professional services NOT be listed. Download it and check for yourself.

Anonymous said...

eIt's Unfortunate Lauren's advisers did not understand Dr's source of income. As an employee he got paid from North shore Hospitals. He disclosed that income. Hospitals can have contract with medicaid, medicare, insurances etc. It's nothing to do with its employees.

iT'S time to stop this silliness.

Sloth said...

DOCTOR Neerhof has stated in print and in person that he was sick and tired of going to work and not being paid a fair wage for his services because of the Medicaid fee schedule. So that obviously is not true because he has no financial interest in a practice. He doesn't understand the struggles of a small businessman with their own practice because he is only an employee that receives a salary. Do we have that right? When will DOCTOR Neerhof tell us the truth about his opposition to Medicaid reform?

Anonymous said...

I'm certain that Scott Drury thanks you for this.

Lauren lying about her college degrees and Neerhof lying about not getting any medicaid reimbursements - a nice round of great ammo for the Dems no matter who wins.

Team America said...

That's life in the Big City, Anon 8:52. Are you suggesting that we should not acknowledge press releases that have gone out to all the major newspapers, just so Mr. Drury never finds out about primary squabbles? I doubt his only source of info is the Team America Blog.

This is what primaries are all about, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Not blaming you at all, just because you're my only source of information.

Anon 8:52