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Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Pence Keeps The Doors Revolving At FSSA
Surprise! He's back. I can't say that I'm surprised since I never thought Gov. Mike Pence cared much about ethics, but it's rather galling for him to name former FSSA Secretary Michael Gargano in a new deputy secretary role where he will be in charge of operations and the Healthy Indiana Plan. Just last month I wrote about Gargano going to work for an FSSA contractor awarded contracts during his previous tenure in top FSSA roles shortly after he departed the agency in January, 2013, apparently unaffected by the state's revolving door law. Prior to his last stint at FSSA, Gargano owned a consulting firm that not only provided consulting work for the agency but also provided consulting work for ACS, the controversial company awarded a contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars to manage welfare services for the agency. Pence named Carmel psychiatrist John Wernert as Secretary, replacing Gargano's successor, Debra Minott, who Pence fired last week after a little more than a year on the job. Pence isn't fooling anyone with Wernert's appointment. Everyone knows that Gargano will be the de facto head of the agency. Barnes & Thornburg's Bob Grand, ACS's attorney, wouldn't have it any other way, and we know that Gov. Pence does whatever he's ordered to do by Grand. Government in Indiana sure works to enrich Gargano and his wife, Ann Lathrop, who works for another state contractor, Crowe Horwath, and also once worked at ACS.