State Agency Accused Of Retaliation Against Service
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 7, 2003
TOPEKA, KANSAS--An attorney has accused the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) of retaliating against a provider of community-based services because the provider is involved in a suit against the state agency.
"This is outrageous," said Jim Kaup, an attorney who represents a coalition of community groups that are suing SRS for failing to provide adequate funds for programs that keep people with developmental disabilities out of institutions.
Kaup said that a September 3 letter to Tri-Valley Developmental Services from SRS amounted to a threat to cut funding for the program.
According to Kaup, the letter instructed Tri-Valley to accept a 15-year-old boy with autism who is being kept at Parsons State Hospital -- or else SRS would pull its contract with Tri-Valley.
Tri-Valley's executive director says the agency does not have enough money to serve the boy.
The letter came after the boy was added as a plaintiff to the lawsuit against SRS.
"The message is pretty clear," Kaup said. "Keep this up and we'll put you out of business."
The state had not responded to inquiries from the Lawrence Journal-World by the press time.
"SRS accused of threatening party in suit against state" (Lawrence Journal-World)