Once again, so much for transparency and accountability. And once again, it’s Secretary of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos who is being opaque. This time, it’s attaboys for a crony who was paid more than $300,000 as a consultant. Unfortunately, there’s no record to back up the claims of his good work.

Joe Hauck was an executive at a company owned by Wos’s husband before he landed the plum gig with DHHS. Now, his contract is up and Wos and company are praising him for all his good work, claiming he saved the agency millions of dollars per year. It’s just that nobody can figure out how he did it.

According to the AP’s Michael Biesecker, the best they can do is find a bunch of “recycled recommendations” that DHHS staff is crediting to Hauck. But nothing is written down. No explanations. No emails. Nothing to substantiate the claims of Hauck’s good work.  It’s basically, “Because I said so.”

It’s just more evidence that McCrory and cronies don’t learn from their mistakes–or maybe they just don’t care what anybody else thinks. The administration has a pretty substantial credibility problem. To combat that image, they should be documenting everything they do to leave a paper trail that would refute their critics.

Instead, they are falling back on the old stand by: Say anything. For some reason, they’re still expecting the press and others to take their statements at face value. No politicians have been given that luxury in a long time and it’s certainly not going to happen given the track record that DHHS and McCrory have now.

Who knows what Joe Hauck did? Maybe he did some good things, maybe he just sucked of the teat of political patronage. We’ll never know.

But this incident isn’t about Joe Hauck and his accomplishments or lack thereof. It’s about the McCrory administration, transparency and cronyism. McCrory campaigned on fixing state government by ending cronyism and making government more transparent.

Instead, he’s surrounded himself with political donors who don’t understand the Raleigh political environment or the capital press corps and apparently never will. A better governor would have seen the problems, made adjustments and found people who could make him look good. McCrory has lost trust and credibility and the latest episode is doing little to restore it.


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