State Hires Felons To Be Caregivers - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

State Hires Felons To Be Caregivers

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(WLNS) - The state public health director concedes tonight that his department made a mistake by allowing 3,700 felons to take care of disabled Medicaid patients even though some of those caretakers were relatives.

The audit contends no criminal background checks were done on the workers which included 285 sex offenders.

6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick has more.

The state audit was aimed at the state Community Health Department and the Department of Human Services.

The two agencies hired 3,700 convicted felons who worked with disabled Medicaid patients.

And the audit also found $160 million in expenditures were spent without the proper invoices being submitted.

The state is not required to do criminal background checks, but the Democrats jumped on the audit with this criticism.

Josh Pugh of the Michigan Democratic Party said, "It's just another example of the governor being asleep on the job, over $100 million wasted."

The Democrats, reacting to the audit report, claim that background checks were part of the process but the Governor and rRpublicans stopped it.

The director of the Health Department disagrees but he was up front when asked...

Reporter: "Did the department make a mistake two years ago by not doing this?

Haveman: "I would say so and we take responsibility. Our goal is not to have people harmed, we can show no evidence that persons were harmed."

The Democrats contend vulnerable patients were at risk even though there are no reports that any of them were hurt by the 3,700 felons hired by the state.

"It's common sense. the state should be taking steps that we protecting our most vulnerable citizens, yet sex offenders are taking care of seniors. its really shocking," said Pugh.

Mr. Havemam says the felons will be barred in the future with background checks being used.

"We are promulgating a new policy and felons will not be allowed into the program as we move ahead," said Haveman.

The director says the Governor was not culpable in this, but the Democrats have a different take.

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