DOJ Status Conference

October 23, 2015

In the United States District Court for the Eastern District in Virginia today Judge John Gibney heard from the Department of Justice, the Office of the Virginia Attorney General and the Independent Reviewer on their respective opinions about Virginia’s compliance with the Settlement Agreement.  While cordial and relatively informal, the public hearing of the status was also informative.  Allyson Tysinger, OAG and Kyle Smiddie, DOJ represented different perspectives how how well the Commonwealth was doing in five specific areas:
  • Waiver Redesign
  • Crisis Services for both Adults and Children
  • Integrated Residential Services
  • Integrated Day Services, and
  • Quality Management
Our major concern has been that the criticism from DOJ would be interpreted as blame for lack of action on the part of the General Assembly; while that seemed to be the direction the DOJ attorney took it was well deflected by Ms. Tysinger and, in fact, apparently also not well received by the Judge. Tentative dates were set to hear the motion to require a court order schedule for compliance; Judge Gibney, however, asked the DOJ attorney on several occasions why they signed a ten year agreement if they did not intend to give the Commonwealth ten years to comply. The article in this morning Washington Post was far more critical!