Section 4: Referral of abuse reports
Section 4. Upon receipt of a report of abuse of a disabled person, the commission shall:--
(a) refer immediately any such reports which allege the occurrence of abuse that is subject to the provisions of sections fourteen to twenty-six, inclusive, of chapter nineteen A, sections seventy-two F to seventy-two L, inclusive, of chapter one hundred and eleven, or sections fifty-one A to fifty-one F, inclusive, of chapter one hundred and nineteen to the appropriate agency for the implementation of measures provided in said sections.
(b) refer immediately any such reports, which allege the occurrence of abuse to a disabled person whose caretaker is a state agency, to an investigator of the commission and the general counsel of the office of the secretary of health and human services, or his designee, within such office and to the department within the executive office of human services which provides or which has contracted for the provision of services to the disabled person. As determined by the commission, either the commission or said department, subject to the oversight of the commission, shall investigate such abuse as provided in section 5. In all cases where a commission investigation is being conducted, the department shall take reasonable steps to avoid unnecessary unwarranted or counterproductive duplication between any internal investigation or inquiry by the department and the commission's investigation, by utilizing the commission's investigation in lieu of an internal investigation conducted by said department.
(c) refer immediately any such reports which allege the occurrence of abuse to a disabled person whose caretaker is other than a state agency to the general counsel or to the department of mental health, in those cases where the disabled person is a person with an intellectual disability or otherwise mentally disabled, or to the Massachusetts rehabilitation commission, in those cases where the disabled person is physically disabled and said counsel or the department of mental health or the department of public health shall immediately, upon such referral, designate an investigator who shall investigate such abuse as provided in section five.
Upon receipt of a report of abuse of a disabled person where the screener, in accordance with written standards established by the commission, determines that the report may contain allegations of criminal conduct, the screener shall immediately refer such report to the special investigative unit which shall conduct an initial evaluation and investigation of the alleged criminal conduct and, upon completion of such evaluation and investigation, shall report the results of such evaluation and investigation to the commissioners who shall, if the special investigative unit has determined that there is reason to believe that a criminal offense has been committed, immediately refer such report, together with any relevant information obtained in such initial investigation, to the attorney general or a district attorney for the county wherein the alleged criminal offense occurred. Upon receipt of such report, the attorney general or district attorney for the county wherein the alleged criminal offense occurred shall contact the commission in order to coordinate the investigation of the matters giving rise to the report. As part of such coordination, the attorney general or the district attorney may request that the commission delay or defer its investigation of the noncriminal matters giving rise to the report; provided, however, that such request shall be granted only where the commission determines that the health and the safety of clients of state agencies or of contract providers shall not be adversely affected thereby and that the commission's or department's ability to conduct a later investigation shall not be unreasonably impaired by such delay or deferral. In all cases including, but not limited to, those in which the commission agrees to delay or defer its investigation, the attorney general or district attorney shall keep the commission informed of the status of the criminal investigation and the commission shall provide to the attorney general or the district attorney any and all information that may be relevant to the criminal investigation. In cases in which the commission agrees to delay or defer its investigation, it shall monitor the progress of the criminal investigation and shall determine, after consultation with such law enforcement agencies, when or whether the commission's investigation should be initiated or resumed.