Health | Law

IHS rescinds reprimand of employee in Spirit Lake controversy

The Indian Health Service has rescinded the reprimand of an employee who raised concerns about the welfare of children on the Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation in North Dakota.

The reprimand accused Michael Tilus, a clinical psychologist, of "misconduct." He was reassigned and stripped of a pending promotion.

But after facing criticism in the media and from members of Congress, the IHS removed the letter of reprimand from Tilus' record. His promotion was restored and he will be sent to the Fort Belknap Indian Community as expected.

“Employees should be free and comfortable in raising concerns with federal officials,” an aide to Sen. John Hoeven (R-North Dakota) told The Fargo Forum.

Get the Story:
Reprimand lifted for Spirit Lake whistleblower Dr. Tilus (The Fargo Forum 8/3)
Official Rescinds Punishment of Psychologist on Reservation (The New York Times 8/3)

Related Stories:
Editorial: IHS should explain reprimand of tribal whistleblower (7/31)
IHS reprimands employee who warned about Spirit Lake children (7/30)
Man charged for murders of Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation children (7/24)
Editorial: Children's safety at risk on Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation (7/18)
Toddler who died on Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation being laid to rest (7/13)
BIA investigates death of baby girl on Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation (7/11)
Spirit Lake Dakotah Nation faces scrutiny over child welfare woes (7/9)
HHS official blames Spirit Lake Nation for child abuse problems (6/22)
Sen. Hoeven seeks answers on Spirit Lake social services (04/25)
Editorial: A free press is essential, even in a tribal society (4/17)
Deaths of Spirit Lake Dakotah children treated as homicide (05/26)
Spirit Lake mother confirms identities of two slain children (5/25)
Father suspected for deaths of two children at Spirit Lake (5/24)

Join the Conversation