County racks up $204k in attorney fees due to BHD mismanagement

This is why it’s so vital to have qualified and capable managers in charge of Milwaukee County’s various divisions…

A private attorney hired by Milwaukee County has cost taxpayers nearly $204,000 over the past three years to defend the county against possible lawsuits or criminal charges over shoddy care at the Mental Health Complex.

The county initially hired Mark Cameli in December 2006 at $395 an hour to help the county with a possible criminal case after the death of a patient at the county’s Mental Health Complex. Cindy Anczak died in August 2006 from complications of starvation. The state Department of Justice investigated the case, but no charges were filed.

Still, Cameli and his Milwaukee firm, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, have been kept under contract since then for the county’s Behavioral Health Division, which runs the complex. His original contract had a $75,000 maximum, which has since been increased twice. In February 2008, the limit grew to $175,000. In March, while the county psychiatric hospital was under threat of cutoff of federal aid over patient assaults, the dollar limit of Cameli’s contract was raised to $235,000.

The scope of his services, however, was never changed from the original contract purpose: “assistance with potential criminal litigation stemming from an investigation into the death of a patient.”

The fact that Milwaukee County – and by extension its taxpayers – has shelled out over $200,000 defending against a lawsuit that shouldn’t have happened under capable and qualified administrators is simply galling, and it’s one more example of how Scott Walker has neglected to do his job as he’s supposed to.


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2 thoughts on “County racks up $204k in attorney fees due to BHD mismanagement

  1. “at $395 an hour to help the county” That’s the problem right there. You hire a big firm litigator with high billable requirements and they are going to go to town.

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