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@NCCapitol

Top House Dem wants DHHS raises investigated

Posted August 23, 2013

House Minority Leader Larry Hall

— House Minority Leader Larry Hall asked Friday for a legislative inquiry into sizable raises handed out to former campaign staffers of Gov. Pat McCrory who now work in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Hall, D-Durham, sent a letter to House Speaker Thom Tillis requesting a special meeting of the Health and Human Services Committee when lawmakers return to Raleigh on Sept. 3 to consider overrides of two McCrory vetoes.

WRAL News found 280 full-time workers at DHHS who have received raises totaling $1.7 million since McCrory asked state agencies in March to limit spending in light of cost overruns in the Medicaid program. Also, some of those receiving raises have no career or educational experience for the jobs they hold.

Two former members of McCrory's 2012 gubernatorial campaign staff now work at DHHS, as does a former staffer of Republican Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign.

Matthew McKillip and Jason Simmons were hired as senior policy advisers, although neither appears to have any experience in health policy. They each received a raise of $22,500 in April. Agency spokesman Ricky Diaz got a $23,000 raise.

Both McCrory and DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos have defended the raises, and agency officials have said all three are performing capably and that the raises account for a fraction of the DHHS budget.

"The taxpayers of North Carolina deserve a public, detailed and thorough explanation for the promotions and pay raises provided to DHHS staff," Hall wrote in his letter.

11 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • krimson Aug 29, 9:57 a.m.

    McCronyism...

  • free2bme Aug 27, 11:19 a.m.

    Purdue did it too, the mainstream media did not disclose it like they didn't for a lot of DEMOCRATIC Governors. Now...state government has a policy in place called Merit Based Hiring so anyone place in a JOB has to be qualified. Don't give McCrory a hard time, unlike Perdue, he knows what he is doing and it is all good for the state of NC, otherwise, we the people would not have elected him. bean112455

    Above is an example of just how oblivious McCrory supporters are. McCrory increases exempt postitions, triple the amount that Bev had, but it is ok. We are supposed to be happy, not say anything, and just let our tax dollars go down the drain to McCrory's campaign workers & friends or just blame Bev. How nonsensical. This is big government and abuse of power on a larger scale than Bev ever did.It is not okay for anyone to do this regardless of their party. Just tell the truth.

  • davidgnews Aug 26, 3:08 p.m.

    If they ended patronage, most of state government would shut down.

  • kdogwnc Aug 26, 12:56 p.m.

    bean112455...unfortunately for the state, McCrony knows exactly what he is doing, and will not be satisfied until we are 50th in education, blacks can't vote, and all but Art Pope make minimum wage.

  • tracmister Aug 26, 12:05 p.m.

    The only problem I have with McCrory is that he claimed all through his campaign that these types of things wouldn't happen under his watch.

  • bean112455 Aug 26, 11:02 a.m.

    I'm sorry folks, but political patronage has been in this state's pay system for as long as it has existed. I worked in HR/Personnel for 34 years and I've seen it all. Governor McCrory isn't the first nor will he be the last. During the Hunt administration, it was at its worse. In fact....he had a person/office in the Governor's Office that did nothing but approved all hirings in state government, not just "his people". Purdue did it too, the mainstream media did not disclose it like they didn't for a lot of DEMOCRATIC Governors. Now...state government has a policy in place called Merit Based Hiring so anyone place in a JOB has to be qualified. Don't give McCrory a hard time, unlike Perdue, he knows what he is doing and it is all good for the state of NC, otherwise, we the people would not have elected him.

  • kdogwnc Aug 26, 7:28 a.m.

    Republicans on the one hand say that government employees are overpaid compared to the private sector. And in the next breath, they give these 24-year olds with no experience huge raises, because "they could make a lot more in the private sector." Which is it?

    Republicans in one breath call for "fiscal responsibility." And in the next breath they hand out huge raises to their cronies, while they spit in the faces of hard-working, dedicated public school teachers.

    Puh-leeze!

  • wildpig777 Aug 24, 6:37 a.m.

    This fiscal irresponsibility will never be investigated. I suspect more large pay raises at the expense of tax payers and our children.

    tracmister
    August 23, 2013 7:36 p.m.

    you are well intentioned but you have it wrong! more outrageous raises at the EXPENSE OF TEACHERS AND STATE EMPLOYEES THAT have only received a 1%-- count em--- 1% raise in 6 six years under the easley/perdue/mc crory adminastrations..

    so lets hold the democrats and the repubs for yet once again -- balancing the budget on the backs of regular folks just like us-- teachers and state employees. mc oughta come out and say what he knows is right--- folks,we made a mistake and now we're gonna correct i. i don't think mc has the character to admit it.

  • anthonysmith349 Aug 23, 7:49 p.m.

    Many Republicans are very angry about this too. But, for the Progressive group to be 'hollering' about this is showing the double standards that party has. They didn't holler when the Dems did it. I have seen many positions created for friends at state agencies under the Dem watch. But those of us who voted for McCrory have the right to make a legitimate complaint about this. He was wrong-wrong-wrong. Many positions in DHHS are still frozen yet this was done. Not fair to other state employees. State Personnel is also guilty for approving those hires. I agree that an investigation needs to be done. We actually need another political party for those of us who are not corrupt and are not far left or far right, and believe in what is right.

  • tracmister Aug 23, 7:36 p.m.

    This fiscal irresponsibility will never be investigated. I suspect more large pay raises at the expense of tax payers and our children.

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