Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being paid to dozens of state hospital employees, while they remain on administrative leave during an investigation.
The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters wanted to know how this happened.
The investigation centers around allegations of patient abuse at the Whiting Forensic Division, a state psychiatric hospital. It’s a story the Troubleshooters broke earlier this year.
Twenty-nine employees are on administrative leave in connection with an investigation into alleged abuse and failure to report it.
Some have been out as long as 14 weeks so far while receiving full-time pay. That totals $400,000, and counting, according to information provided to the Troubleshooters in response to a Freedom of Information request.
State regulations say employees only get administrative leave pay for 15 days. Yet the agency overseeing Whiting tells the Troubleshooters the union contract that covers most of these employees “allows for extensions of administrative leave due to extenuating circumstances.”
And these employees may be on leave quite a while longer. First, a state police investigation must wrap up. Then the agency in charge of Whiting conducts its own investigation. When that ends, decisions on continuing administrative leave pay are made.
At the same time, state tax dollars are paying for replacements to work for many of the 29 employees now out on administrative leave.