Last month, the two DHHR administrators, who were placed on leave after raising questions about an agency marketing and advertising contract, sued acting DHHR Secretary Rocco Fucillo.
In July, Mani had inquired about the contract, and a DHHR lawyer, Jennifer Taylor, raised questions about the scoring process, according to the lawsuit.
In a subsequent conversation the same day, Mani notified Taylor that the governor's office didn't want to get involved in the dispute, the suit says.
However, Mani told Taylor the state would temporarily extend the existing marketing contract with the Arnold Agency.
DHHR had awarded the new contract to Fahlgren Mortine, an Ohio-based public relations firm. The Arnold Agency received the second-highest score.
Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants is investigating whether DHHR administrators tried to rig the contract for the Arnold Agency. The lawyers contend they were whistleblowers.
Before coming to the governor's office, Mani was executive director of the West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement Board, which oversees state employees' pensions and other retirement plans.
Mani also served as deputy Cabinet secretary for the state Department of Revenue, and general counsel under Gov. Bob Wise.
Before working in state government, Mani was a lawyer with Bowles Rice McDavid Graff and Love, where she specialized in government relations and employment law. She lives in Charleston with her husband and two children.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.