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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ind. Decisions - Still more on: Court of Appeals rules on closing of Fort Wayne Disabilities Center

Updating yesterday's ILB entry, Niki Kelly of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reports today:

The Indiana Supreme Court this week dismissed as moot an appeal by the Family and Social Services Administration related to the closing of the Fort Wayne State Developmental Center.

But the court first accepted the case, which vacates the Indiana Court of Appeals opinion that found the administration violated state bidding procedures when it gave Liberty Healthcare a contract in May 2005 to manage the facility.

Later that year, the state and Liberty negotiated a long-term contract to fully privatize the center, including overseeing its closure in April 2007.

There was no public bidding for either contract.

Even though the Indiana Supreme Court didn’t rule on the merits of the case, FSSA Secretary Mitch Roob considers it a victory.

“It should end this discussion,” he said. “What it means is the trial court opinion stands, and the trial court ruled we acted inside our legal authority, so in that respect we’re very pleased.”

It’s unclear how the Indiana Supreme Court’s action affects a separate pending class-action lawsuit filed in Marion Superior Court in December by former center employees seeking monetary damages related to the privatization.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 28, 2008 08:52 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions