Editorial: Wos must immediately resign post

Sep. 21, 2013 @ 04:19 PM

Aldona Wos must immediately resign her position as the secretary of our state’s Department of Health and Human Services. If she does not, Gov. Pat McCrory has to make the decision for her.

Wos helped raise money for McCrory’s gubernatorial campaign last fall. Her department’s hires are foul-smelling of campaign worker exchanges. The governor’s campaign against a corrupt culture in Raleigh has long left the station.

Allowing her to continue disables McCrory’s integrity while she digs a deeper hole.

Wos is responsible for a department with nearly 18,000 employees spread in 30 divisions and offices, 14 facilities and a budget of $18.3 billion. She took the job for $1 in annual salary. Everybody, whether qualified or not, with connections to her is raking in the dollars.

State leaders have tightened the grip on money, particularly for the unemployed and the education system. Free spending by Wos’ department cripples any sense of balance in McCrory’s governance.

Our confidence in Wos is irrevocably broken.

• Wos’ chief of staff, a lobbyist, worked one month at $155,000 annual salary and took a $37,227 lump sum payment with his departure to settle potential claims.

• Wos’ senior policy advisor is a GOP donor, anti-abortion activist and hasn’t worked in the field of health care in a decade. She makes $95,000 annually.

• Wos hired a pre-kindergarten and child-care subsidy program director who had founded and headed a program against “institutional” preschool programs, referred to Hillary Clinton as one of President Obama’s “Butch bunch,” called pro-gay protestors “anti-freedom-of-speech bigots,” and called the Affordable Care Act “enslavement.”

• Wos’ agency paid a consulting contract to a firm led by her husband, providing the consultant $228,000 for eight months work.

• Wos let go the state’s oral health program leader, who had the job for 35 years and wouldn’t provide names of state-paid dental hygienists who took vacation time to lobby legislators against cuts to dental programs serving low-income children.

• Wos hired 24-year-olds as chief advisor for policy issues and communications director, respectively, for $87,500 and $85,000. They were campaign workers. So was the new director for brands and marketing. He’s raking $68,000 annually.

Until Wos is gone, the cycle will repeat.

And North Carolina can’t endure any more of her egregious and reckless actions.