Pal of DCFS ex-director accused of misconduct -

Pal of DCFS ex-director accused of misconduct

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Government inspectors say the former director of Illinois' child-welfare agency ignored warning signs while his "friend and mentor" committed contract fraud.

Inspectors say Erwin McEwen didn't cooperate with their investigation of the Department of Children and Family Services. They report that he largely blamed staff for not doing a better job of monitoring the work of his friend, Dr. George Smith.

Inspectors on Monday said Smith collected $18 million in state grants from 2008 through 2011. There's little or no documentation of what work he did for much of the money.

The investigation found evidence that Smith forged signatures, used fake employees and turned in suspicious expense reports.

McEwen recently left DCFS. He didn't return a message left at his home seeking comment Monday.

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