An editorial in this morning’s Winston-Salem Journal pulls few punches in characterizing the latest incident of political cronyism in Gov. Pat McCrory’s embattled Department of Health and Human Services and demanding a full accounting. That incident, of course (as reported and expanded upon here and here earlier this week by N.C. Policy Watch) was the department’s bestowal of $310,000 in pay to a “contractor” whose permanent job just happens to be working for the private company owned by the husband of DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos (and whose main work product during the period in question seems to have been to recommend cutting a number of safety net programs). This is from the editorial:
“The latest manifestation of Wos’ closed-government philosophy arose in news reports about Joe Hauck. Wos hired him as a private consultant and paid $310,000 for 11 months of work. But so far, it’s hard to tell what he did for that money.
In response to public records requests filed in September by The Associated Press seeking all plans, proposals, documents, emails and any other work product authored by Hauck, the DHHS provided a pair of memos totaling little more than three double-spaced pages.
(The AP reported that ‘the agency also provided spreadsheets detailing cuts made in state funding to such nonprofit charities as food banks and pre-Kindergarten programs that were reportedly developed at Hauck’s direction. The agency handed over no emails Hauck exchanged with state employees, which are supposed to be public records.’)
Hauck has now left the agency, returning to his previous employer, who just so happens to be Wos’ husband.
When a deal smells of cronyism as badly as this one, the government agency involved owes the public and the governor every bit of evidence to the contrary. But the lack of the backup paperwork requested here only increases suspicions….
Wos owes the public a full accounting of what Hauck did for $310,000.”