One of the big flaps in Illinois is the alleged abuse by prison guards seeking extra compensation through the work comp arena.
Specifically prison guards at the Menard Correctional Center have filed an unusually large amount of carpal tunnel claims, which have been granted awards. The common claim is that the injuries are caused by closing cell doors.
What drew the attention of the media is that the number of claims is so disproportionately large that there seems to be some element of higher authority conspiracy, or in the least, utter mismanagement or complacency by those in charge of these claims - namely the state's Department of Central Management Services (CMS).
A reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat, George Pawlaczyk, who has been investigating these claims, made a public records request for a sampling of the nerve conduction velocity studies used by CMS to validate benefit qualifications.
CMS refused to comply, raising numerous objections which the state Attorney General ultimately has declared invalid. The Attorney General stated in its opinion ordering release of the data, “CMS has not demonstrated how these anonymous test results constitute proprietary information that relates to the operation of CMS’ risk management program.”
CMS manages tens of millions of dollars of Illinois money in administering workers' compensation claims for the state.
One can only surmise why CMS is so reluctant to provide access to what should be innocuous documentation.
What are they hiding? Incompetence? Mismanagement? Crime?
We'll find out eventually.
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