Better hold a couple of quick dinner parties to raise funds for lawyer fees:
According to documents provided by DHHS on Friday afternoon, U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker subpoenaed the department for information on more than 30 employees, as well as bidding and payment information for administrative contracts, as part of a criminal investigation. The subpoenas came in late July, about a week before the resignation of former DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos in early August.
DHHS spokeswoman Kendra Gerlach said Wos decided to resign before the subpoenas.
Riiight. She was stuck like a tick on DHHS and wouldn't come off no matter how badly she screwed things up, and we're supposed to believe the timing of her (finally) resigning was just a coincidence? It's apparent Wos' obliviousness rubbed off on her staff during her tenure. I find it particularly ironic to see Art Pope's "public corruption" hit-man Les Merritt being called on the Grand Jury carpet for his $312,000 "personal services" contract:
Among the targets of the subpoena are the records of state employees and contractors who have come under fire in the past, both by North Carolina legislators and the State Auditor's Office.
Les Merritt, a former state auditor who stepped down from the North Carolina State Ethics Commission after WRAL News raised questions about potential conflicts of interest created by his service contract with DHHS
Thomas Adams, a former chief of staff who received more than $37,000 as "severance" after he served just one month on the job
Angie Sligh, the former director of the state's upgraded Medicaid payment system who faced allegations of nepotism and the waste of $1.6 million in payments to under-qualified workers for wages, unjustified overtime and holiday pay in a 2015 state audit
Joe Hauck, an employee of Wos' husband who landed a lucrative contract that put him among the highest-paid workers at DHHS
Alvarez & Marsal, a consulting firm overseeing agency budget forecasting under a no-bid contract that has nearly tripled in value, to at least $8 million.
You know, Republicans like to whine about how the Federal government tries to wield too much influence and take power away from state governments. But as the history of Aldona Wos' misappropriations demonstrates, our current state government isn't capable of protecting taxpayers from abuse.