Extra Extra : February 2011

California hospital chain reports high rates of malnutrition

A California Watch report reveals that facilities managed by California hospital chain Prime Healthcare are reporting unusually high malnutrition rates in its Medicare patients. Shasta Regional Medical Center in Redding, Calif. has reported that "16.1 percent of its Medicare patients 65 and older suffered from kwashiorkor, according to a California Watch analysis of state health data. That’s 70 times the state average of 0.2 percent."  Kwashiorkor is a form of malnutrition that "almost exclusively afflicts impoverished children in developing countries, especially during famines, experts say." Federal records show that such a diagnosis in Medicare patients can entitle ... Read more ...

Analysis of aviation data reveals frequent safety problems

Fired officer had history of misconduct allegations

A recently fired Milwaukee police officer under federal investigation after a woman said he raped her on duty in July has been accused of breaking the law five times before, according to department records obtained by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Gina Barton. Three of the previous allegations involved sexual misconduct — two with female prisoners and one with a 16-year-old girl. The incidents involving Ladmarald Cates date to 2000, three years after he was hired by the department, according to internal affairs documents and officials. Cates' record shows how a police officer can rack up serious misconduct allegations for more than ... Read more ...

Hospital executive pay under scrutiny by state of Washington

Hospitals in Washington state receive millions in tax breaks from the state government. A report by John Ryan of Seattle public radio station KUOW has learned that some hospitals are paying their executives so much that the hospitals may no longer qualify for one of their biggest tax breaks. State tax collectors and legislators are beginning to examine the issue after learning of KUOW’s findings. Tens of millions of dollars could be at stake.

Program for violent offenders deporting non-criminal immigrants

"Secure Communities, a federal immigration-enforcement program designed to identify and deport violent illegal immigrants, has increasingly targeted and deported undocumented immigrants with no criminal backgrounds," reports Thomas Francis of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. Nationally, 28 percent of the immigrants deported since the program began in 2008 have been "non-criminal" immigrants. In Florida, the rates are much higher.  Immigrant advocates have voiced concern that these numbers reflect racial profiling in some communities.

Convicted attorneys continue to practice in Wisconsin

At least 135 attorneys with criminal convictions are practicing law in Wisconsin — including some who kept their licenses while serving time and others who got them back before they were off probation, an investigation by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporters Cary Spivak and Ben Poston has found. The roster includes lawyers with felony or misdemeanor convictions for fraud, theft, battery and repeat drunken driving, as well as offenses involving political corruption, drugs and sex. Another 70 lawyers were charged with crimes but succeeded in having the charges reduced or avoided conviction by completing a deferred prosecution plan. The newspaper’s review ... Read more ...

Investigation looks at misconduct within the FBI

An investigation by CNN’s Scott Zamost and Kyra Phillips revealed that, despite one of the strictest screening processes in the federal government, about 1,000 FBI employees have been disciplined for misconduct in the past three years. Confidential internal reports obtained by CNN show that misconduct includes a sex tape, sleeping with informants, security violations, misusing government databases and DUIs. The reports show that some of the serious misconduct only resulted in suspensions, rather than dismissal. The FBI told CNN that a fraction of its employees are disciplined.