OCTOBER 10, 2006 - Posted at 3:26 p.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Some state lawmakers say they want to open maltreatment reports to the public after this year's death of a developmentally disabled man at the Alexander Human Development Center.
But Health and Human Services Department officials told a legislative panel yesterday that state law prohibits the public release of the details of Leroy Johnson, a 41-year-old man who died April 24 after an altercation with center employees.
Johnson's death led to the dismissal of a supervisor and written warnings for two other workers.
Legislators vented frustration over an inability to get details on Johnson's death at a hearing.
Charles Hicks, general counsel for the Department of Health and Human Services, says legislators can receive information from the report but cannot disclose it to the public.
Representative Stephanie Flowers, a Democrat from Pine Bluff, says she wants to look next year at changing the state's law to allow the release of the reports publicly.