5 Illinois state public health workers kept ‘yearbook’ that mocked photos of medical marijuana applicants, IG report says | IllinoisPosted by On

Five state public health employees maintained a “yearbook” that included photos of medical marijuana applicants and mocking captions such as “Happy Holidaze” and “Why the long face?,” according to a report released Friday by the state’s executive inspector general’s office.

Medical marijuana program applications are supposed to be kept confidential, but the Illinois Department of Public Health employees used the photos “to make fun and for their personal enjoyment,” the IG’s office said in a 38-page report.

“Those that participated in activities related to the yearbook attempted to minimize or downplay their conduct, as evidenced by their characterizations of the yearbook as ‘benign’ and intended simply to ‘lighten up the mood,’ for ‘jest,’ and to be funny,” the report stated.

An investigation began after the watchdog received an anonymous complaint in late 2021 alleging that the then-chief of the medical cannabis division, Myles Willingham, printed a patient photo and put it in the yearbook. The complaint also alleged that the book was kept in the break area in an IDPH facility.

In an interview with investigators last year, Willingham denied that he contributed to the book and said he didn’t know when it was created. When asked whose idea it was to create it, he replied, “I didn’t ask,” according to…

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