Top House Dem wants DHHS raises investigated
Posted August 23, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.