As we wrote earlier, the IWCC has announced that Arbitrators Teague and Dibble have been placed on paid administrative leave. Although the reasons for the move were not articulated by the IWCC, Arbitrators Teague and Dibble have been the subjects of several recent stories in the Belleville News-Democrat. The newspaper reported that Arbitrator Teague tried to keep secret a public hearing in the workers’ compensation claim filed by a former Illinois State Trooper. Citing a complaint submitted by the Office of the Executive Inspector General for the Attorney General’s Office to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, the paper has also reported that Arbitrator Teague also sought to speed up a workers’ comp hearing in exchange for help from an assistant attorney general in getting her own workers’ compensation claim settled.
The News-Democrat also reported that Arbitrator Dibble received a settlement for his own carpal tunnel syndrome claim and was the arbitrator in many of the workers’ compensation claims filed by more than 230 guards at the Menard Correction Center in Chester, Illinois. According to the paper, IWCC records show that since 2008 almost $10 million has been paid out to 389 Menard employees, including the guards, “for repetitive trauma and other injuries”.
According to the News-Democrat, Springfield lawyer John R. Simpson was appointed “to oversee a probe of the workers’ compensation system” earlier this month. The paper quoted Mica Matsoff, Governor Quinn’s spokeswoman as stating, “The special counsel investigation by the Department of Insurance, authorized by Gov. Quinn, continues to investigate the troubling allegations arising from the workers’ compensation program.”
Interested readers can find the Belleville News-Democrat articles here.