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Democrats call for NC human services leader Wos to resign

Five African American lawmakers from Charlotte, in concert with others across the state, Friday called for the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos.

Members of the Legislative Black Caucus made the demand at simultaneous news conferences in at least two other cities.

At the public health department on Billingsley Road, Rep. Beverly Earle ran down a litany of controversies at the state DHHS. One of the latest incidents came this month when the department mailed out the personal information of nearly 49,000 children receiving Medicaid benefits to the wrong addresses.

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory has steadfastly stood by Wos. McCrory appointed Wos to the state’s top human services job when he took office as governor a year ago.

“When will someone be held accountable?” Earle said. “When is someone going to take responsibility?”

On Friday, Raleigh’s News & Observer reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture threatened in December to sanction the state for failing to show it was addressing widespread problems with food stamp applications.

The warning came about two months after DHHS officials assured legislators that the department responded swiftly to problems with the computer software program called NC FAST. The problems forced thousands of people to wait months for food assistance.

“This governor, this Republican administration, must take ownership of state government,” said Democratic Sen. Malcolm Graham.

McCrory spokesman Ryan Tronovitch said the department is working to fix the food assistance problems.

“The governor has confidence that Secretary Wos and her team are working hard to ensure that those who need benefits, receive benefits,” he said. “Another gimmicky press scheme from the extreme left won’t help solve the problem.”

Morrill: 704-358-5059
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