Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Departure Of Boss Abele's Mental Health Honcho Raises Ethics Concerns

As I have been reporting, Boss Abele has his cold heart set upon abandoning Milwaukee County's most vulnerable citizens to the corporate vultures. Despite repeated warnings by mental health professionals, Boss Abele has put profits before people and austerity before accountability in his push to close the county's mental health center so he can sell the land it sits on to his wealthy friends for a song.

Taking advantage of this, Rogers Memorial Hospital started a $12 million project to open up a 56 bed inpatient facility, which is scheduled to open in January - just in time to pick up the people that Boss Abele abandons.

On Monday, in what I'm sure is just a coincidence, the following email was sent out to all employees in the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division:
Sent: Monday, December 1, 2014 3:43 PM


Subject: Transitions

From the Desk of Pat Schroeder:

Dear Team BHD,

It is bittersweet for me to announce that Jim Kubicek, Deputy Administrator for Crisis, Acute, and Long Term Care Services, will be leaving BHD to take on the role of Vice President-Operations of the Rogers Memorial Hospital opening in Brown Deer, Wisconsin.

Jim graduated from UWM as a social worker and has been a part of the BHD family since 1996, joining as a clinician on the Mobile Crisis Team. He has since served in the roles of Director of Acute Services, Director of Crisis Services, Deputy Administrator, and Interim Administrator. He has made significant contributions at BHD during his more than 20 years here.

We look forward to his continued collaboration and partnerships in the future at Rogers, which begin mid January, 2015.

Please join me in thanking Jim for his years of service, and congratulating him on his new leadership adventure.

Not a bad gig, eh?

Kubicek helps overseeing the closing of the county's hospital and then just happens to take a job at one of the private agencies prepared to take advantage of the closing.

But there is one problem - it's against the law.

We saw this in 2011, when another former director of BHD had resigned and then tried to drum up business for the private agency he worked at (emphasis mine):
One month after resigning in disgrace, John Chianelli pitched his old Milwaukee County boss with a proposal to privatize more mental health services so his new firm could oversee them.

Records show Chianelli and Peg DuBord of Transitional Living Services urged a top county official to let their private agency - which already has several county contracts - provide services to patients with developmental disabilities or mental health problems if the 72-bed Hilltop unit at the Mental Health Complex is downsized. The firm also wants to begin caring for children with serious emotional issues.

The pair met with Geri Lyday, interim administrator of the county's Department of Health and Human Services, on March 10. Chianelli had submitted his resignation to Lyday on Feb. 11.

County ethics rules say former staffers must wait at least a year before contacting anyone in their former agency on behalf of a private business or individual.

"That's very disconcerting," said County Supervisor Lynne De Bruin. "He's not allowed to lobby her on any contract, period."
If it was wrong then, it's still wrong now.

Although I suppose one could argue that Kubicek didn't technically break the law if he did the lobbying before he left the county. Right?  After all, what's a little profiteering at the expense of the vulnerable and the taxpayers?

The corporate media keeps claiming that Boss Abele's scheme is a wonderful thing.  They just forget to mention for whom it's so wonderful.  

It sure isn't the patients.


  1. Oh no!!! Someone got a promotion! Aahhhhh!!! Is that what you're looking for?

    Meanwhile, we've been waiting a year for you to mention the county supervisors illegally negotiating with decertified unions, being investigated for $20K worth of campaign lit, continuing to retain private law firms on tax payers dime without oversight, owning businesses which fail to pay both living wages and taxes...need I go on?

    Nah. Just another reason to type "Abele" a bunch of times.

    It's said that a man should call his doctor in the event of an erection lasting longer than four hours. I'd say you're a couple years over due for that consultation.

  2. Are you referring to the negotiations in which Abele was the only lawbreaker?

    And are you referring to the investigation that was cleared because no laws were broken?

    And have you compared what Abele has spent on private law firms to what the Board had to because of Act 14?

    And what business was paid for by tax dollars, besides the one I wrote about?

    Sad, sad, little troll.

  3. capper, thanks.