Rapes and Assault From His Policies at Mental Health Hospital

MADISON - Scott Walker's irresponsible budget released today was wrapped in an admission of guilt over his reckless mismanagement of his mental health hospital, where Walker has failed to hold his administrators accountable for the sexual assault of female patients that occurred under his watch.

After consecutive years of cuts in staff at the troubled facility, where preventable drug overdose deaths occurred in 2005 and a patient starved to death in 2006, Walker today added an additional $5.5 million to his election-year budget.

In 2001, there were 1,053 full-time positions at the facility. In 2010, though the caseload had increased, Scott Walker proposed a decrease to 746.

More significantly, under his rule, Scott Walker approved the housing of violent male patients with vulnerable female patients as a cost-saving measure, even after BHD nurses and staff pleaded with him to create secure wards. The result was a sharp increase in the sexual assaults of women, described as a "trade off" by a top administrator.

Federal investigators this spring sounded the alarm about the assaults, but now Walker is stonewalling various probes into the facility, after hiring private lawyers to protect him from personal liability-and give election-year strategic advice-to the tune of $300,000.

Milwaukee County supervisors today were expected to rebuke Walker once again for his stonewalling, and his misleading claim that county lawyers and Chairman Lee Holloway were behind his coverup.

"It is the rarest thing to see Scott Walker take responsibility for any of his failures, but his budget today can only be looked at as an admission of guilt, an acknowledgment that his total disregard for the well-being of the most vulnerable in Milwaukee County," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Wednesday. "Of course, with a mountain of evidence to suggest otherwise, he will now try to portray himself as leading the charge to fix the crisis at the mental health complex. The problem is, Scott Walker is who caused the crisis in the first place."

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