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Illinois Pulls Health Care Licenses of Sex Offenders

August 23, 2011

Illinois yanked the licenses 11 of health care workers Monday citing a new law that bars registered sex offenders and people convicted of violent felonies from working in the field.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation released the names of the health professionals, including six doctors and five registered nurses, after giving them 20 days to alert the department of any overturned convictions.

The law, which took effect over the weekend, allows the state to permanently revoke licenses without holding a hearing. Department officials said they’ll release additional names later.

“The State takes its responsibilities to protect our residents seriously,” Brent E. Adams, Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation said in a statement. “This new law establishes tough outcomes that are intended to shield Illinois patients from health care workers who have been convicted of sex offenses and certain violent crimes.”

Of the 11 announced Monday, nine are registered sex offenders and two others were convicted of violent crimes. The convictions of the 11 include child pornography, indecent solicitation of a child, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and battery. In at least two cases the victims were patients.

The names of the health care workers were posted online at the website of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The six doctors had been licensed in Carmi, Darien, Long Grove, Moline, Skokie and Streator. The nurses had been licensed in Beach Park, Blue Island, Chicago, Elgin and Lake Villa.

Attempts by The Associated Press to reach the 11 health care workers for comment Monday were unsuccessful.

Illinois Department of Corrections records show one of them is serving time at Stateville Correctional Center for felony sexual abuse, sexual assault of child patients and manufacturing child pornography. Three of the doctors, all retired, declined to comment when contacted by the AP.

One registered nurse lives in Michigan, according to the state’s sex offender registry, and didn’t have a listed phone number. The others had phone numbers that were either disconnected, unlisted or rang numerous times without going to voicemail.

After receiving the state’s notices, several health professionals filed lawsuits against the department arguing the law shouldn’t apply to them. Spokeswoman Sue Hofer said the department won’t release the names in those pending cases until they’ve been decided in court.

The state could add more names to the list because it doesn’t include those who are involved in pending litigation.

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