CHICAGO, IL – The House Human Services Committee will examine why a former judge whose reckless decisions resulted in an abused child’s death is now filling a key position in the Rauner administration’s child welfare agency. The committee will hear testimony from advocates and agency officials on Thursday at 2:30 p.m., in the sixth floor committee room of the Bilandic Building in Chicago.
Recent reporting in the Belleville News-Democrat revealed how Laninya Cason, then a St. Clair County judge, had returned an abused 3-year-old boy to the custody of his mother and stepfather, despite the objection of the child’s court-appointed guardians. In February 2014, the child was found beaten and murdered by his stepfather. Even after returning this child to a life-threatening situation, Cason was selected by the Rauner administration in 2015 to fill an $86,000 per year supervisory position within the Department of Children and Family Services.
“It is very disturbing that Governor Rauner has chosen to put our children’s safety in the hands of someone whose poor judgment has resulted in such a tragedy,” Gabel said. “I am holding this hearing to give all involved parties a chance to tell their story so we may figure out how this was allowed to happen.”