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Political Clout Pays Off

Political Clout Pays Off


A politically connected couple in Broward County, Fla., who threatened to sue the county to pay for autism treatments for their adopted child, benefited from the diversion of nearly $200,000 in federal AIDS funds to pay for the child's care. An investigation by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration has revealed that in 1999, Shelly Brantley, Medicaid bureau chief in the agency, and possibly other agency employees directly approved the diversion of approximately $40,000 per year from the state's Project AIDS Care program for the child's autism therapy. An agency spokesman says there are no plans to reimburse the AIDS program for the $200,000 diverted from it. The child's parents and Brantley, now director of Florida's Agency for Persons With Disabilities, declined to comment on the report.

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