New NC Pre-K director quits amid questions over background

Posted February 7, 2013

— McCrory administration appointee Dianna Lightfoot now says she will not take the job leading the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Lightfoot's appointment was announced Tuesday. But questions were raised about potential conflict of interest because she founded and headed an organization that advocated against publicly funded early childhood education programs like NC Pre-K. 

On Wednesday night, Lightfoot deleted her Twitter account, in which she referred to Hillary Clinton as a "butch" and questioned whether ultrasonic waves had caused the 2011 Japan earthquake. A Facebook account that remained online referred to gay rights protesters as "bigots."

A YouTube video also emerged of Lightfoot speaking at a tea party rally in the Stokes County town of Pinnacle in September, equating the Affordable Care Act with "enslavement" and urging the audience to rise up against it.

Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Julie Henry released the following statement shortly after noon Thursday:

"Dianna Lightfoot was scheduled to start at HHS next week as Director of Child Development and Early Education. Ms. Lightfoot informed Secretary (Aldona) Wos this morning that she does not wish to be a distraction to the department and will pursue other opportunities. Secretary Wos accepted this decision."

Department of Health and Human Services, DHHS generic Questions remain about how DHHS vetted Pre-K candidate

WRAL News also has learned that Lightfoot might have voted improperly in three North Carolina elections.

State law requires voters to register at the address where they live, but elections records show Lightfoot gave the address of a UPS store in Winston-Salem as her residence.

Lightfoot hasn't responded to requests for an explanation.

Likewise, DHHS and the Governor's Office haven't explained the vetting process they used to select Lightfoot – or other job candidates. The information about her background and social media posts was easily available through a Google search.


This blog post is closed for comments.

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  • TVs_Deceit Feb 8, 2013

    soyousay - (1) Her ID wouldn't have listed a UPS store address, so if that's what she used to register, it would have flagged her to only vote provisionally.

    (2) To start, do a search on "Tesla Technology" and "Weather Wars". Governments have technology decades ahead of what's made public.

    (3) Proper use of condoms, birth control and other methods can are very successful in pregnancy prevention. But that's not the issue.

    The issue is a system that rewards people to have children they know they can't afford, thus leading to kids who become at-risk.

    The issue is that for decades now having kids is used as a way to qualify for Government benefits that require nothing in return.

    These bad parents whose kids are at-risk are not trying to not get pregnant, they want to get pregnant because then they don't have to get up everyday and go to work. Housing is provided, food is provided, medical care, welfare dollars ect.

    The system currently in place is providing an incentive to have kids.

  • soyousay Feb 8, 2013

    It brings up that whole voter ID thing doesn't it..you do realize that it would not have stopped her in particular from voting, a detemined criminal (she is one you know if true) can easiely evade it. Concentrate hard and it will come to you

  • soyousay Feb 8, 2013

    You only get paid to HAVE kids. No condom required.

    missed that whole sex ed class? wait might not have ever had it. Condoms are dismal in preventing pregancy and generally that whole oral contraceptive thing may be tough for you..

    however, she voted illegally X3, and thinks that magic sonic waves cause earthquakes ...

  • soyousay Feb 8, 2013

    This is about the ineptness of a new administration in picking its appointees.
    ...and voting illegally..she is in a heap of trouble now, but then she is the shining beacon of the Tea sippers

    by why quibble

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Feb 8, 2013

    Why are all the comments here about the merits of pre-K? This is about the ineptness of a new administration in picking its appointees.

  • Readytomoveon2015 Feb 8, 2013

    Pre-K = free taxpayer paid babysitting....

  • free2bme Feb 8, 2013

    Linda will never be as nuts as this lady. Wake up, this lady is full of hate, name calling, and deception. She has no place in government representing me or anyone else. This is typical tea party talk though which unfortunately is what this Republican NC Legislature agrees with. They promised to help the state of NC by creating jobs and working across the aisles- just a bunch of lies to get in office. They want Big Government so they can control what citizens can and can not do. For some reason, they don't realize that it is the 21st century.

  • Jack Flash Feb 8, 2013

    "How about we cut off the funds that pay people for years on end just because they had a kid, or at least make them work for it?"

    Educating their children through Pre-K programs is a better way of breaking the cycle of poverty and it doesn't put a single penny in their pockets. Free daycare? The kid is already here. You don't hurt the kid to spite the parent. And that's pretty much all you're advocating: spite. There isn't the slightest sign of understanding or compassion in anything you've written. You've exhibited nothing but malice and half-baked judgments.

  • Jack Flash Feb 8, 2013

    "Still having trouble with the term 'personal responsibility' I see."

    Not at all. I consider it my personal responsibility not to allow people to slip through the cracks just b/c they've been irresponsible. It's what Jesus would want us to do. I have yet to see you offer anything other than ripping away public support. I bet you think the best way to teach a child to swim is to throw him overboard in the middle of a lake.

    "Here's a solution. WORK."

    Oh, yeah. I forgot that if you type something in all-caps it means it's that simple.

    Your complaints about people procreating (pro-choice, are you?) is a step away from suggesting they be prohibited by law from doing so. That's a step closer to exactly what Nazi Germany did. How about you backtrack from that insinuation fast instead of make it seem even more true by complaining about strawmen?

  • TVs_Deceit Feb 8, 2013

    "Condoms are available in every drugstore."

    Not only that.. they give them away FREE at the health department.

    But where's the lifetime of free benefits in not getting pregnant?

    The system doesn't send me a check because I didn't have a kid I can't afford and don't care enough about to teach them anything.

    You only get paid to HAVE kids. No condom required.