So Much for McCrory’s Culture of Customer Service

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Will the Governor step on a few toes to get DHHS back on track?

RALEIGH—Progress NC Action today called on Gov. McCrory to take any and all measures necessary to get NC FAST, the computer system in charge of food stamps, working again. According to a WRAL report last week, “cuts to unemployment benefits in North Carolina and continued problems with the state computer system that processes food stamp benefits have created a domino effect that has started toppling food banks across the state.”

McCrory is ultimately responsible for both causes that have created the food bank crisis.

Changes to North Carolina’s unemployment insurances laws would require action by the General Assembly, but Gov. McCrory has the power to fix NC FAST—a program of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Unfortunately, McCrory appears unwilling to make changes at DHHS. According to WNCN, despite NC FAST’s repeated failures, the program’s IT director, Anthony Vellucci, was given a $23,000 raise in June. Of course, Vellucci isn’t the only DHHS manager who has received a significant pay increase.

One month after the salary scandal broke, DHHS Sec. Aldona Wos continues to come under withering fire for giving two 24-year-old former McCrory campaign staffers 35% raises, putting their salaries above $85,000 a year. Wos also gave her 25-year-old personal secretary a 30% raise and gave an executive at her husband’s company a $300,000 personal services contract.  “McCrory’s Shameless Cronyism”  read the title of this past Sunday’s editorial in the Henderson Times-News in Hendersonville.

Gov. McCrory continues to claim that his young campaign staffers were hired because their talent beat out older applicants.  But the AP has revealed that DHHS has failed to show any evidence of a job advertisement or competitive application process.  And just this weekend, a veteran public health journalist revealed in a Raleigh News & Observer Op-Ed how the DHHS Communications Department has been reduced to a stonewalling bunker which has had security run interference between news reporters and the DHHS Secretary.

“No matter how many mistakes Wos makes, McCrory continues to stand by his former campaign chair and chief fundraiser,” said Gerrick Brenner of Progress NC Action. “We think it is time McCrory actually step on some toes and make the changes necessary at DHHS to get NC FAST back on track”

“Remember, this is the Governor who called for a culture of customer service. Instead of ensuring the well-being of thousands of North Carolina families, McCrory has sent them to soup kitchens and bread lines.”

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