Well, if the rumors swirling around Raleigh are true, Aldona Wos, Secretary of Health and Human Services is gone. If so, it looks like the McCrory administration waited for a Friday afternoon news dump, hoping people are distracted by the weekend. Regardless, the political establishment will take notice and Pat McCrory, who has stood by the embattled Secretary, will have yet another black eye.
But if the rumors aren’t true, they sure should be. Wos has made a mess of the department. She never understood the role of an administrator. She ran off most of the professional staff and brought in political hacks and ideological soul mates with little or no experience in health, human services or administration.
Instead of taking responsibility for her actions or those of the department, she blamed other people. She avoided the press and at one time said she was opposed to transparency. Several times, Wos tried to alter the truth and when she was caught, never explained or apologized. In her appearance before the legislature, she left members of both parties unsatisfied with her answers.
And it doesn’t help that she comes off as arrogant, condescending and elitist. Not a good combination in politics.
But for all her problems, McCrory stood by Wos. Nobody in either party knows exactly why. Some people think it’s her money. Others say he has an intense personal loyalty. Still other say he’s scared of her.
Who knows. But her biggest sin was hanging her boss out to dry. When salary-gate broke, Wos wouldn’t respond to the press leaving McCrory to defend the indefensible. He lied to cover up her stupid hires, saying that the two campaign hacks beat out more experienced people for jobs when, in reality, nobody else was considered. He should have fired her then, but since he didn’t have the backbone, she should have stepped down. With each of her mistakes, McCrory came out to defend her even as his poll numbers sank.
The whole debacle has been a sorry episode. If she’s done, it’s McCrory’s second cabinet secretary to go in less than a year. We still don’t why Kieran Shanahan left, but there won’t be much question about Wos. She was inexperienced, incompetent, ideological and arrogant. She had no business there in the first place. And that is Pat McCrory’s fault.
Here at PoliticsNC, we’ve been documenting Secretary Wos’s missteps and misdeeds. Click here to read her history at DHHS.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >