CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Director Marc Smith was held in contempt of court again on Thursday for violating the rights of a teenage boy.
This is the third contempt of court order issued against Smith recently.
In this case, the order involved a 17-year-old who has been locked in a psychiatric hospital more than four months after being ready to be released. If the youth is not properly placed, $1,000-per-day fine will start racking up starting on Tuesday.
In court Thursday, it was stated that wrongly keeping the youth in a psychiatric facility is costing taxpayers $1,000 a day, or $30,000 a month. He has been locked up for more than four months.
CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini last week that a Cook County Juvenile Court judge earlier issued two contempt of court orders against Smith for violating the rights of two children who were left languishing in facilities for months.
One of the earlier court orders against Smith describes how a 9-year-old girl suffered years of physical and sexual abuse at home. Then after entering DCFS care, she was put into a psychiatric hospital. She was medically ready to be discharged back in June 2021, but she’s still hospitalized.
A judge wrote DCFS disobeyed numerous court orders to get the child out of the hospital in October and November. This is why DCFS Director Smith was held in contempt in the earliest cases.
The girl has been confined in the psychiatric hospital for 221 days since the date she was supposed to be discharged.
The other contempt order was issued after a 13-year-old boy in DCFS care was forced to sleep in a storage room.
“He was sleeping on the floor of a utility room in an office,” said Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert. “Closet of an office.”
That child was then sent to a downstate shelter and has been stuck there for 145 days – the reason for Smith’s other contempt charge.
DCFS said in court Thursday that the 9-year-old and 13-year-old have now been placed – so there were no fines associated with their cases.
DCFS had received repeated complaints regarding her dating back several years. At least five men had sexually assaulted her since the age of seven and she suffered other abuse. DCFS failed to put her in protective custody until her final rape case at the Grand Motel in October of 2020.
Earlier this week, Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Westchester) called for hearings and an investigation called for hearings and an investigation into DCFS.