Skip to contents
Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

FBI Investigating Vaccinations At Loretto Hospital CEO’s Suburban Church

The probe focuses on the city’s role in vaccinations done at the suburban church when West Siders were struggling to get their shots.

Loretto CEO George Miller (center) received an award from H. Daniel Wilson, the leader at Valley Kingdom Ministries International, after Loretto Hospital vaccinated people at the suburban church. Miller is a member of the church and friends with Wilson.
Valley Kingdom Ministries International video
  • Credibility:

CHICAGO — The FBI is investigating potentially improper vaccinations Loretto Hospital administered at its CEO’s suburban church — including the city of Chicago’s role in the vaccinations, government records show.

A federal grand jury subpoena was issued to the city’s law department on Nov. 10, more than five months after Block Club Chicago revealed the West Side hospital vaccinated people at an Oak Forest church whose leader is a friend of Loretto CEO George Miller.

The FBI is also probing vaccinations the hospital did at Trump Tower, Block Club and the Better Government Association reported earlier this year. All the subpoenas were issued “pursuant to an official criminal investigation.”

The most recent subpoena focused on the church vaccinations, which were done in February at Valley Kingdom Ministries International in southwest suburban Oak Forest. The FBI asked for documents related to outreach to the church by city officials, as well as city use of the church to administer vaccines, and visits to the church made by city officials surrounding the February vaccination event.

In a brief telephone interview, Miller referred reporters to hospital representatives, who declined to comment. Apostle H. Daniel Wilson, a longtime pastor at Valley Kingdom Ministries International, could not immediately be reached for comment.

City spokespeople could not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot has previously said the city is cooperating with the FBI investigation.

The subpoenas represent demands for records and information and made no allegations of wrongdoing against any church leader, Loretto administrator or city official. The subpoenas also do not spell out the scope of the grand jury investigation or its targets.

The Illinois Attorney General’s Office is already investigating the hospital for “potential misuse of charitable assets” following reports from Block Club and the Better Government Association that revealed one of former CFO Anosh Ahmed’s friends won contracts worth $4 million from the nonprofit hospital while Loretto board members took hospital-funded Caribbean trips, among other benefits.

As the pandemic tore through low-income communities of color, officials provided Illinois’ first vaccination doses to Loretto in December, in large part to assure Black and Latino citizens they would be prioritized and protected.

But Loretto then administered vaccines at Trump Tower, where Ahmed lived; at a luxury watch shop and jewelry store and to workers of a high-end Gold Coast steakhouse.

Credit: Valley Kingdom Ministries video International
Loretto Hospital CEO George Miller receives an award from H. Daniel Wilson at Valley Kingdom Ministries International in suburban Oak Forest on Feb. 27. Wilson said he was giving Miller, a member of the church and Wilson’s friend, the award after Loretto Hospital vaccinated members of the church.

The first vaccine event at the church was held Feb. 6, less than two weeks after the city opened eligibility and many older, at-risk Chicagoans were still desperately trying to get shots. Members got their second shots Feb. 27.

Valley Kingdom Ministries was one of the first churches — if not the first — visited by the hospital, according to newsletters written by Miller to Loretto staff and obtained by Block Club. Beyond the professed friendship between Miller and Wilson, senior pastor at Valley Kingdom Ministries International, it is not clear why the church would have been given such preference.

RELATED: Loretto Hospital Vaccinated CEO’s Suburban Church — While West Siders Were Calling Daily For Shots

At the time, only frontline workers and people 65 and older were broadly eligible for the vaccines. Officials were also voicing concerns as many of the city’s vaccine doses — up to 40 percent — were going to people who live in the suburbs.

Loretto sent a team to the church “to administer 204 vaccinations of their members, who lived, worked or received their [health care] from those living in Chicago,” Miller wrote in a newsletter to hospital staff that spring. Later, in the same newsletter, he acknowledged demand was high in the city, writing, “In the coming weeks, our goal is to obtain more COVID-19 vaccines to administer because the demand is extremely high. We are attracting new patients that have never visited [Loretto] before.”

In a video from Feb. 28, the church’s leader, H. Daniel Wilson, and Miller discuss having been friends for more than 40 years. They attended college together, were fraternity brothers and are even close enough that Miller attended Wilson’s bachelor party, they say in the video.

In the video, Wilson directly thanks Miller for the vaccinations and says the people vaccinated came from the church and “Chicagoland area,” a term used to describe the vast metropolitan area in and around the city.

“We vaccinated 200 primarily members from the Valley and from the Chicagoland area, and it could not have been done without the leadership, the open heart and the spirit of a brother beloved,” Wilson says of Miller. “You’re a friend, you’re a brother beloved, you’re a frat brother. But you’re a member of this ministry.”

In the video, Wilson gives an award to Miller to thank him for bringing Loretto to the church — and Miller then gives an award to Wilson for being Loretto’s “faith partner.”

Loretto’s self-audit of its vaccinations lists the shots done at the church as “decided eligible … outside of Chicago — healthcare in Chicago, work in Chicago, 65+.” But the report doesn’t say how or if the hospital determined if people who got shots at those events met those eligibility requirements.

Miller remains the CEO of Loretto Hospital. Another executive, Ahmed, resigned in March after Block Club revealed the vaccinations at Trump Tower, where Ahmed lived, and at businesses where Ahmed frequented.

In a March letter to Loretto’s staff, Miller took responsibility for the Trump Tower event, saying he authorized it. The hospital’s board decided he would be suspended for two weeks without pay, though it was not clear when that suspension would happen since the hospital was then searching for Ahmed’s replacement, a hospital spokesperson previously said.

The hospital’s self-audit stated it administered 70 unapproved, ineligible vaccines at Trump Tower on March 10.

The city’s health department suspended vaccine doses to Loretto until the hospital could put its program in order. State Rep. LaShawn Ford of Chicago stepped down from the hospital’s board March 23 to protest its slowness in responding to the mounting scandals. The next day, Ahmed resigned.

On March 25, Lightfoot called for an independent investigation into the hospital’s vaccinations.

The subpoenas state the current investigation is overseen by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheri Mecklenburg, who often handles complex financial cases, including white collar fraud and crimes against the elderly. She referred questions to an agency spokesman, who declined comment.


City Is Cooperating With FBI Investigation Of Loretto Hospital, Lightfoot Says

FBI Investigating Loretto Hospital’s Vaccination Program As Part Of A Criminal Probe

Loretto Hospital Union Says Workers Need Meeting With Leaders, Spots On Board Amid State Investigation

After Loretto Hospital Exec’s Pal Got $4 Million In Contracts, Patient Complaints And Assaults Soared

Loretto Hospital Under Investigation For ‘Potential Misuse Of Charitable Assets’

Powerful State Senator Got Caribbean Trips, Campaign Donations And Cash Through Loretto Hospital

Loretto Hospital Got Vaccines To Help Black West Siders — But More Than Half Of Early On-Site Shots Went To White And Asian People

Cash-Strapped Loretto Hospital Paid Millions To Companies Formed By Ousted Executive’s Pal

Vaccination Clinic Opening At Loretto Hospital — But City Will Manage It After Hospital’s Scandals

Doctor Tied To Loretto Hospital Had His Family Vaccinated With West Side Hospital’s Supply In The Suburbs

State Sen. Lightford Defends Loretto CEO Amid Vaccination Scandals

West Side Resident Launches Petition Calling For Removal Of Loretto’s President Amid Vaccine Scandals

Loretto Hospital Needs Independent Investigation Into Vaccine Scandals, Mayor Lightfoot Says

Embattled Loretto Hospital Executive Resigns After Vaccine Scandals

Another Group Favored By Loretto Hospital Exec Got Vaccinated Early: Gold Coast Steakhouse ‘Higher-Ups,’ Sources Say

Rep. LaShawn Ford Resigns From Loretto Hospital Board, Says He ‘Strongly Disagreed’ With Slap On The Wrist For Execs

Loretto Executives Keep Jobs After Vaccine Scandals Force Emergency Board Of Directors Meeting

Luxury Gold Coast Watch Shop That Got Improper Vaccinations Has Very Important Customer: A Loretto Hospital Executive

Loretto Hospital Execs Reprimanded For Going Rogue After Letting ‘Well-Connected’ People Skip Vaccine Line

Loretto Hospital Vaccinated CEO’s Suburban Church — While West Siders Were Calling Daily For Shots

Vaccine Doses Not Being Sent To Loretto Until City Can ‘Confirm’ It’s Vaccinating, Reporting People Properly

City Won’t Give Vaccines To Hospitals That Let People Cut In Line, Lightfoot Warns After Trump Tower Controversy

Cook County Judges, Spouses Were Given Chance To Be Vaccinated At Loretto Hospital, Report Says

Improper Vaccinations At Trump Tower Disappointing, Mayor Says As She Vows City Will ‘Dig Deeper’ To Verify West Side Hospital’s Story

Chicago Hospital Executive Bragged About Vaccinating Eric Trump On Day His Hospital Vaccinated Workers At Trump Tower

Trump Tower Workers Got Vaccines From West Side Hospital — Whose COO Owns A Condo In Luxury Highrise

Trump Tower Vaccinated Staff At Luxury Hotel, Saying It Was Part Of Program Meant To Help Hard-Hit South And West Sides

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers.

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation. 

Thanks for subscribing to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods. Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.

Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast” here: