DHHS officials being investigated by feds

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said Friday it is cooperating with federal investigators who are looking into DHHS employment practices.

The News & Observer first reported Friday that a federal grand jury is investigating contracts that the DHHS awarded. WNCN also obtained the documents, which say the grand jury is looking into “a criminal investigation.”

UPDATE: NC State Rep. says ex-DHHS manager should be prosecuted

“The Department of Health and Human Services team is cooperating and working with the federal government in this process,” said DHHS spokeswoman Kendra Gerlach. “We will continue to respect the confidentiality of the process by the federal government to protect the integrity and fairness of this review.”

The subpoenas were served July 28.

Dr. Aldona Wos, who had an embattled tenure as DHHS secretary but who also enjoyed the support of Gov. Pat McCrory, resigned as head of the agency Aug. 5, saying she wanted to spend more time with her family.

MORE: Read the subpoenas here and here

In one subpoena of the Custodian of Records, the federal government is seeking records related to:

  • Les Merritt
  • Thomas L. Adams
  • Joe Hauck
  • Angeline Sligh
  • The consulting firm of Alvarez and Marsal

Merritt is a former state auditor who worked as a consultant for DHHS.

Adams got a $37,000 severance payment after one month on the job.

Hauck, who had previously worked for Wos’ husband, made $228,000 for eight months work.

In another subpoena, the federal government seeks records for more than 30 employees, including Angeline Sligh, the former Medicaid information systems director.

Walker was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2011 to serve as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Walker earned his undergraduate degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas and then attended Campbell University’s School of Law.

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