No punishment, just possible policy change following audit

No punishment, just possible policy change following audit (Image 1)

The North Carolina state auditor said there will likely be no repercussions for a retired state employee who she said helped improperly spend $1.6 million.

The state looked into the office of Medicaid Management Information System Services and its recently retired director, Angeline Sligh.

State auditor Beth Wood said Sligh will most likely be left alone to a peaceful retirement with full benefits. Sligh retired in February.

Wood said because what Sligh did was all signed off by a superior so she will avoid punishment. Investigators said Sligh broke policy by requesting overtime and comp time she was not eligible for.

The money paid to her and others won’t be returned. And, even though what these state employees did was not ethical or prudent, it was not illegal, Wood said.

Wood said if anything comes of this, it will be a policy change from the Office of State Personnel.

But, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are upset with the lack of oversight and the general assembly may be getting involved.

“I hope and trust that we’ll take immediate action to resolve this type of abuse. We don’t want to leave ourselves open to this type of problem, not only in Health and Human Services, but in any other state agency,” said Sen. Floyd McKissick (D).

Some are also calling for a stronger response from Gov. Pat McCrory.

“The same issue has come up now in two consecutive audits, and that’s something the administration needs to look at and figure out why would this be a continuing problem. Why weren’t the guidelines followed?” said Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause.

Any feedback on the audit can be directed to the governor’s office or your local state representative.

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