Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina’s Division of Emergency Management announced Friday that it has fired three employees whose children got unadvertised, high-paying jobs to work on disaster relief last year.
Assistant directors Steve Sloan and Emily Young were initially put on on paid, 30-day leaves while the agency investigated the nepotism reports.
The firings of Sloan, Young and community development specialist Carole Ingram came one day after the WRAL Investigates team reported that six state employees had their children working on disaster relief following last year's April tornadoes and Hurricane Irene.
Calling himself a "scapegoat," Sloan said Friday that he has "done nothing wrong" and plans to "appeal this for as long as it takes to get the truth out."
In a previous interview with WRAL Investigates, Sloan said he didn't have oversight over anyone. "I knew, of course, my son, but everybody else, I had no idea," he said.
WRAL Investigates could not reach Young or Ingram for comment.
The agency said Friday that an internal investigation is ongoing regarding accusations of nepotism, but that investigation is not specific to any individuals.
Two community development specialists – Willie Mae Cox and Patty Moyer – and individual assistance coordinator Donna Latimer all had children working as disaster reservists. Latimer recently left the agency.
Disaster reservists are jobs that typically go to former state workers or people who have worked in disaster areas before.
Sloan’s son, Steven Sloan, got a community relations job after both events, making $20.92 an hour. The state paid him a total of $43,391.53, which included overtime pay, hotel and meals.
Young’s daughter, Jessica Kilpatrick, worked on the governor’s hotline after the tornadoes and made $18.18 an hour, for a total of $2,225.08, which included overtime pay.
Ingram’s son, Addison Ingram III, worked in community relations after Hurricane Irene and made $16.90 an hour, for a total of $19,226.67, which included overtime pay, hotel and meals. Her daughter, Addisondra Ingram, worked in community relations after the tornadoes and made $17.57 an hour, for a total of $4,193.26, which included overtime pay.
Emergency Management Director Doug Hoell issued a memo on March 19, changing the agency’s hiring practices, especially for temporary employees. He also included a copy of the state’s policy on nepotism.
Among the changes, Hoell wrote, Temporary Solutions, a separate state agency, will now handle the advertising, recruitment, screening and recommendation of candidates for the agency’s temporary employment needs.
The WRAL Investigates team found that friends of some of the employees’ children got temporary jobs as disaster reservists as well. However, that is not covered by the state's nepotism policy.