The director of the N.C. Health and Human Services’ troubled public benefits technology and food stamp system is leaving his state position for a job in private industry.
Anthony Vellucci, the program director for N.C. FAST  (Families Accessing Services Through Technology) is leaving for a job in private industry, according to a DHHS news release sent out late Wednesday afternoon.
He is taking a position with Maryland-based EngagePoint, a private healthcare and IT software company, and his last day with DHHS is March 7.
Vellucci, 40, was making $168,000 a year , including a $23,384 raise he received from Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos in June in order to counter a job offer. Vellucci’s raise was one of several $20,000-plus raises for top DHHS officials after N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory called for a salary freeze for state workers.
NC FAST has encountered significant issues over the last year, and the months-long delays for food stamps for thousands of struggling North Carolinians led the U.S. Department of Agriculture to threaten withdrawing administrative funding from the state. (Click here  for more information about the backlog.)
The state agency had just met a Feb. 10 deadline set by USDA to resolve the backlog of thousands of high-priority food stamps cases, and is facing another deadline on March 31 to reduce the remaining backlog of cases.
Vellucci first came to DHHS in 2010, during Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue’s administration.
Angela Taylor, a DHHS employee since 1995 who joined the NC FAST team in August, will take over as NC FAST’s interim director.