Downing Clark Center, Inc. requested a hearing before the Office of State Administrative Hearings in 2010 to contest its CCI license revocation by the ORCC under the DHS (Downing Clark, Inc. vs. Department of Human Services Docket No.: OSAH-DHS-CCI-1022119-64-TATE). The DHS case for revocation against Downing Clark Center, Inc. was far from a slam-dunk, turned into a fiasco, an embarrassment that attests to the caliber of qualifications and professionalism of DHS management and staff. Administrative Law Judge Steven W. Teate heard the case, slammed the DHS, and on September 23, 2010 reversed Downing Clark’s license revocation ruling as follows: http://www.gahsc.org/nm/2010/dccadministrativecourtdecision20100924.pdf
According to Judge Teate, the ORCC staff did not follow their own regulatory directives regarding policy in revoking a license (the lenient, absurd, out-of-touch ‘ORS’ State Enforcement Matrix does not protect children rights or safety in these facilities), and the judge called the DHS, DFCS, and the ORCC on it. It makes one wonder not just about the capability of DHS agency staff, but also about many things.
Downing Clark Center, Inc. in Comparison to Ridge Creek School:
Downing Clark Center did not have near the amount of citations and repeat violations as Ridge Creek School, Ridge Creek Wilderness, Ridge Creek-Mountain Brook, and the former Hidden Lake Academy, yet their license was revoked, until overturned. In the above case, citations were given to Downing Clark Center for violations resulting from an incident in January 2010. http://126.96.36.199:7001/ORSINV/PDFS_CCI/CCI001444G97B11.pdf
These violations were assigned higher grading on the DHS Matrix scale of A-H than those with the same/similar violations of Ridge Creek School; i.e. staffing, medications, administrative, etc. However, historically the amount of citations and severity of those violations are minuscule as compared to that of Ridge Creek School and its affiliates. The ORCC revoked Downing Clark Center, Inc.’s license essentially using 2) Category III repeat violations, among others (see ORCC Enforcement Scope and Severity Matrix): http://www.odis.dhr.state.ga.us/7000_reg/7201_human%20services/pol7201.doc Why?
- Regarding Downing Clark Center,Inc., Ridge Creek School, and the ORCC: Downing Clark Center, Inc. - Of 25 Survey Reports generated by DHS and that of which the public is privy to without filing an Open Records Request, 44 % of the surveys listed from 06/24/2009 to 01/28/2011 exhibited violations.http://188.8.131.52:7001/ORSINV/facilitysummaryadd.jsp?varFACID=CCI001444
- Ridge Creek School - Of 15 Survey Reports generated from DHS and that which the general public is privy to without filing an Open Records Request, 100% of the surveys listed from 12/10/2009 to 05/03/2011 exhibited violations (ORCC website listings are not an actual composite and up-to-date). http://184.108.40.206:7001/ORSINV/facilitysummaryadd.jsp?varFACID=CCI001710
Ridge Creek School ORCC reports – not a complete dossier listed on ORCC site. This does not include a multitude of reports, ACT reports, Aspen Reports, and Adverse action/fines.This leaves one to conclude that something is either very subjective or at minimal, very askew in the relationship between the DHS, ORCC, Ridge Creek School and its affiliates, other CCI’s, and the OSHA.
The DHS/ORCC went after Downing Clark to shut them down, why? More importantly, why has the ORCC under the DHS not moved to revoke Ridge Creek, Inc.'s license to operate RCS? Granted Downing Clark appears to be no walk in the park either, but hey!
Is the DHS afraid to go up against Judge Teate because the DHS and ORCC cannot get their act together? Perhaps it is something else. Which raises another question, just ‘whom’ is in bed with ‘whom’? The DHS apparently is alot like Ridge Creek School, everyone is afraid to come forward. Why?
• Regarding Ridge Creek School – Sources have reported that DFCS surveyors may do investigative reports that never make it to the ORCC because the ORCC does not request it. Why?
• Regarding DHS - Supervisors of ORCC and DFCS appear to subjectively decide to apply citations, violations, the use of the Matrix, and postings of incidents. Adverse actions and fines are not posted on the ORCC Facility Complaint Website. As much as this is denied until the cows come home, in looking at records for both facilities, this conclusion is not far-fetched, actually quite reasonable. Why?
• Former staff members allege documents were hastily manufactured/ forged by a Ridge Creek School counselor (name withheld) under guidance from the then Director, to quickly create ISP’s (Individual Service Plans) including IEP and 504’s to present to the ORCC/DFCS/CPS investigator upon arrival and request of said documents. Why?
How ironic that the agencies created to protect children are too busy protecting themselves and the corrupt facilities they regulate.
A puppet master? A myriad of marionette strings extended far beyond ethical limits?
Are “unannounced” visits by the ORCC to investigate Ridge Creek School true to their intention or is it just another façade. More smoke and mirrors? Once again, why send out the investigators?
Apologies to continuously resurrect an email that came through from a former administrative staff member of Hidden Lake Academy (now Ridge Creek School), in a reply to an inquiry as to what was going on at the then ORS(ORCC), but it is significant and should be “driven home.” The reply was succinct, “the investigators did their job, it was the supervisors that nixed it.” If this is all true, is it not culpable negligence, fraud, and conspiracy. According to letters since 2001, it was/is an uphill battle. Containment. Forged documents? So what.
If conspiracy to defraud,culpable negligence, and corruption by state agencies can be proven, would that not penetrate “sovereign immunity?”
A wise Georgia State Senator Nancy Schaefer summed it up aptly as she recalled "being cut off at every juncture."
Another wise person once said, follow the money, follow the power, and you shall find the answer.
And that’s my take.