An audit released today showed that the state’s Medicaid billing department wasted more than $1.6 million in overpayments for temporary employees and excessive overtime, while its director hired close relatives and associates to work at the public agency.
The former director of the Office of Medicaid Management Information Systems Services, identified by WRAL as Angie Sligh, also arranged from 2011 to 2014 for several relatives, close associates and members of her church to get jobs at the state department, in what appear to be violations of state hiring rules.
Sligh left NC. Department of Health and Human Services in February.
An assistant to Sligh who was working at the state agency through a temporary services agency made $86,852 in the 2014-15 fiscal year, more than any other executive assistant in state government, including the governor’s personal secretary. Another OMMISS employee told auditors she got her job because her sister was the OMMISS director’s hairdresser.
Here’s more about the audit, from WRAL:
Acting off a tip to the auditor’s hotline, investigators found the NCTracks program employed the director’s daughter, ex-husband, ex-husband’s wife and several other family members of employees in the division. It also noted several other hires who regularly attended the director’s church. That included four executive assistants she hired at salaries “exceeding their qualifications,” the audit says.
In addition to excessive wages to underqualified employees and unjustified overtime and holiday pay, the report also noted that the director claimed unauthorized compensatory time that could result in inflated retirement benefits.
In her response to the auditor’s office, DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos said the investigation pointed out an issue “that appears to have existed across state government for a number of years.” The audit, Wos said, triggered the department’s own investigation and the development of better internal policies.