This week’s Worst Week in Raleigh award goes to Angie Sligh, a former manager at the state Department of Health and Human Services who is the subject of an audit described in terms like “withering” and “scathing”. The audit, released Wednesday, depicted Sligh as wasting almost $2 million in taxpayer money by giving temporary jobs to unqualified applicants whom she knew personally, and then paying them far too much.

Among the people she hired: four people who attended her church, her daughter, her ex-husband, and her ex-husband’s current wife. Connections to Sligh also resulted in the hiring of her hairdresser’s sister and her neighbor’s daughter. Stuff like this is a clear indication that the “good ‘ol boy” (or girl) network has yet to be dismantled. In addition, Sligh received over 2,000 hours in compensatory time to which she was not entitled, allowing her to inflate her retirement benefits

Waste, nepotism, fraud. Despite this, don’t expect the hammer to come down on Ms. Sligh, whose sly maneuvers to circumvent state law was signed off by superiors. Unethical? Yes. A violation of the public trust? Absolutely. Illegal? No.

The silver lining is that such abuse will hopefully lead to reform across all levels of state government. Let’s hope that comes sooner rather than later. After all, this is our money we’re talking about here.

Angie Sligh, for having to endure a rough week in the spotlight after auditors finally clamped down on your gross fiscal mismanagement, you’re the winner of the Worst Week in Raleigh award. But hey – State Auditor Beth Wood says you’re probably going to be left alone to a peaceful retirement with full benefits. One week of bad publicity, followed by a comfortable retirement. Sounds like a pretty good deal in my book. Congrats, or something.


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