• Coroner investigating Choate resident’s death

    by  • January 22, 2013 • News

    We have confirmed at this hour the death of a Choate Developmental Center resident. Union County Coroner Phil Hillman said his office is in the early stages of an investigation into the incident and could not comment.

    Choate is located in Anna, Illinois and is a residential provider for the developmentally disabled. Januari Smith, spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Human Services says the DHS Office of the Inspector General is also investigating the incident, as is standard in unexpected deaths of residents at State Operated Development Centers.

    4fa4567b3c3b6.imageAccording to Monika Sobczak with the Murray Parents Association, the incident further raises questions as to why the Warren G. Murray Center in Centralia was chosen for closure over Choate.

    Sobczak says the state has never given answers as to why Murray was chosen, which leads to her belief the decision was political.

    She notes Equip for Equality has been at Murray Center on a weekly basis, and she believes they have been targeting the facility.

    She calls the pressure being placed by Equip for Equality and ARC on the Murray Center staff unfair, unjust and possibly a fraudulent use of federal dollars.

    Sobczak also wonders if those groups had instead been policing Choate, if the recent death could have been prevented.

    She calls the death unfortunate, adding that she wished she had more information and that did not want cannot jump to conclusions as death happens, especially when dealing with the medically fragile.