Cook County, Illinois, has agreed to pay the federal government $5 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged the county mismanaged a federally funded study involving pregnant drug addicts.

The lawsuit originated as a whistleblower suit brought under the qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act by a former project director Janet Chandler.

The suit alleged that the county was slow to obtain participants for the study and later steered women into the program, violating study guidelines of randomization, in order to keep it running and not lose the federal funding.

Additional details can be found in the December 20, 2006 issue of the Chicago Tribune.

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