Chicago Sun-Times: When a fatal Legionnaires’ disease outbreak first struck the Illinois Veterans Home in downstate Quincy back in 2015, the state agency that runs the facility prepared for possible media questions about whether the fenced-in park was “dangerous” for children, according to emails examined by WBEZ.
But now, it’s a detail that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration has inexplicably tried to keep secret. The governor’s office has shielded the seemingly innocuous email from state lawmakers who have been clamoring for internal documents surrounding the ongoing public health crisis.
A WBEZ analysis of nearly 450 pages of emails found that government lawyers blacked out portions of more than half the documents recently turned over to a legislative panel investigating the state’s inability to contain the waterborne illness. Repeated outbreaks at the home since 2015 have contributed to the deaths of 13 residents and sickened dozens more.
“Government appears, in this instance at least, to be more invested in black ink than anything else,” said Terry Mutchler, who was in charge of helping enforce the state’s public records law under Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan