Three weeks ago, RI Department of Health (DOH) Community Program Liaison Lisa Camuso appeared in an interview on In the Dugout with Mike Stenhouse in which she detailed reasons for concern about the DOH’s oversight of nursing homes and other senior care facilities. Now, she has been officially summoned to an “HR Interview.”
According to an email that she received today, the purpose of the meeting is to review “breach of confidentiality and misuse of state time and resources.”
In the video with Stenhouse, Camuso stated that her intention was to raise public awareness about an urgent matter: lack of sufficient oversight during the COVID-19 pandemic, which may have contributed to the pandemic deaths of hundreds of Rhode Island seniors. According to the most-recent data, 80% of all COVID-19 deaths in the state have been connected with long-term care or assisted living facilities.
On Wednesday, Camuso is required to meet with several Department of Health and Department of Administration officials. With her statements already in the public domain, legal experts will be keeping a close eye on this developing story.
“Rhode Island has enacted whistle-blower protection laws so that concerned public servants can expose potential criminal activity, corruption, waste, or other malfeasance by the government or one of its agencies without fear of retaliation,” said Robert G Flanders, Jr., former Associate Justice of the RI Supreme Court and chair of the Flanders Legal Center for Freedom. “All government employees, especially well-intentioned whistle-blowers, have clearly defined rights, which the State should seek to preserve at all times.”
Camuso is already party to a whistle-blower lawsuit based on related concerns, which she filed in 2017.
Camuso provided an update after the meeting.