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Friday, December 30, 2005

By Joseph Guido: Crisis in human services

The following letter was submitted by Walworth County Board Supervisor Joseph C. Guido.

In my opinion

In March 2005, following the retirement of Director Mike Kohl, and upon the recommendation of County Administrator David Bretl, the county board approved the hiring of Dani Maculan as the new director of health and human services in Walworth County.

The new director offered a plan to reorganize the department and to cut $2.2 million from the budget. Why such a massive reduction in critical services?

What has actually taken place is the resignation or retirement of 13 qualified full-time employees, many of whom were department heads, and the elimination of 16 other positions, most of whom enjoyed many years of direct service to residents of the county.

Why are so many employees resigning? Because-as many past and present employees have reported-of Ms. Maculan's intimidation and threats, abusive language, and erratic behavior, and that she has imposed a virtual gag order on the present employees so that anyone making inquiries, questioning or opposing changes is said to be "sabotaging the plan."

Following the resignation of our three county psychiatrists, the most recent catastrophe has been the need to resort to a "rent a doctor" service, which resulted in a psychiatrist with sexual misconduct in his past seeing patients in our county. Why didn't Ms. Maculan check into what is public knowledge about this doctor?

What human tragedies are waiting to happen when there is no doctor to prescribe the necessary medication or treatment for our psychiatric patients?

Quality treatment, care, concern, and compassion have been the cornerstone of Walworth County's Health and Human Services. We must halt the disastrous dismantling of this department! Who has the responsibility to act? Your elected representatives, the Walworth County Board!

It appears many members are turning a deaf ear to the barrage of phone calls, letters and newspaper articles. In spite of this outcry, Administrator David Bretl, supervisor and county board chairwoman Ann Lohrmann, LaGrange and Whitewater and supervisor Betty Felten, Elkhorn, chair of the health and human services committee, are continuing to staunchly support the actions of Ms. Maculan.

In the name of all our clients, their families and our loyal employees, my recommendation to all our elected Walworth County Supervisors and to David Bretl is:

o 1. Call for the immediate resignation of Ms. Maculan. If she will not:
o 2. Termination of Ms. Maculan's contract by County Administrator David Bretl. If he will not:
o 3. Action by the county board members to call a special order of business meeting to terminate Ms. Maculan's contract.

Your elected representatives, the county board supervisors welcome you to voice your concern at the next board meeting, at 6 p.m. on Jan. 10, 2006 at the Government Center (the old county courthouse) in downtown Elkhorn. There will be a public comment period shortly after 6 p.m. but you must register to speak. You are allowed three minutes to voice your concerns. (No questions will receive a response).

Joseph C. Guido
Walworth County Board of Supervisors
District 17, Delavan


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