Posted: 4:17 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, 2013

NC department under fire after audit on overtime pay

DHHS audited
DHHS audited

By Allison Latos


North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services is coming under fire in a new state audit regarding overtime pay for some employees working to establish the state's Medicaid Management Information System.

Eyewitness News exposed the controversy in November when some state lawmakers raised concerns over the director, Angie Sligh, receiving additional pay.

The state audit, released this week, reveals that Sligh was one of a dozen salaried employees to earn more than $580,000 in overtime under an exception to state law.

According to the audit, approval for that pay was never documented but was based on verbal approval from the State Office of Personnel and went on for more than four years.

CLICK HERE to read the full audit.

"It's very concerning and what's even more concerning is that it went on for so long and it wasn't caught," said Rep. Justin Burr of Stanley County.

Burr expressed his frustration to Eyewitness News in the fall of 2012.

He believes the audit validates his concerns.

"If the leadership over there will take money without the legal authority to do so, what else will they do?" he said.

Burr now questions whether Sligh should lose her job for being in charge of a project overdue and over budget.

"I certainly think that option should be on the table," Burr said.

The newly appointed DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos responded to the audit in a statement.

"We take these findings very seriously and have already taken steps to ensure improved accountability within the department," Wos said.

Burr, who chairs the Appropriations Committee over DHHS, plans to watch every taxpayer penny.

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