On the DHHR administrative imbroglio, it's interesting that there's not much dispute as to the facts at hand between the "press release" subpoena and the lawsuit filed against the DHHR by two of the three administrators placed on administrative leave.
Both sides seem clear that Susan Perry, Jennifer Taylor and John Law raised objections over the awarding of the $4 million advertising and public relations contract. The dispute seems to be over whether they were whistle-blowing because the bid evaluation process was so botched up or were trying to interfere with the awarding of the contract, although there is no evidence to date that any of the three would have personally benefited by awarding the contract to any company other than Fahlgren Mortine.
One point seems clear, however: Rocco Fuccillo had been a subordinate to Perry and Taylor before his promotion to acting DHHR secretary, and did not take well to their questioning of his newfound authority and apparently overreacted by imposing the now three-month long paid administrative leaves.
Finally, imagine my delight to get an email from Santa Claus, and not some fake department store Santa Claus, but the real thing -- at least legally.
Santa, who legally changed his name from Thomas O'Connor in 2005 (presumably because of his resemblance to the jolly old elf, as well as his work as an advocate for underprivileged children worldwide), thought I had been overly dismissive of his candidacy for president of the United States.
(I'd written that he was one of the write-in candidates certified by the Secretary of State's office to have their votes tabulated on Election Day.)
"Unlike several of the other (write-in) candidates, I am registered with and recognized by the Federal Election Commission," Santa wrote.
"In addition to serving as an advocate for millions of vulnerable children and having received an international peace prize, as did the Dalai Lama, from the Santa Claus Peace Council in Turkey, I am a former special assistant to the deputy police commissioner of New York City (NYPD); director of the Terrorism Research and Communication Center; and member of FEMA's National Defense Executive Reserve," Santa concluded.
If elected, Santa has some intriguing prospects for his cabinet, including congressman and former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich for vice president, MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow for White House chief of staff, author and anti-war activist Noam Chomsky for Secretary of Defense, and our own Darrell McGraw for Secretary of Agriculture.Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.