Advocacy Group: Big Raises Should Be Rescinded For 2 McCrory Staffers

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A liberal-leaning advocacy group wants legislative leaders to formally scrutinize pay raises of some young staffers in Gov. Pat McCrory's administration.

Progress NC Action sought the investigation Wednesday after delivering what it called a petition with 19,000 names to the office of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos. The group wants Wos to rescind $20,000-plus raises to two department workers in April. Spokesman Ricky Diaz and policy adviser Matt McKillip make more than $80,000. Both worked on McCrory's campaign last year.

Progress NC Action leader Gerrick Brenner says the raises are wrong when teachers didn't get pay increases this year and Medicaid has cost overruns.

McCrory has defended the raises. Wos told media her agency's payroll is $21 million less than a year ago.


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The big salary North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory's administration is paying one of the young Republicans who worked on his election campaign last year outpaces what private employers pay for similar work.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports (http://bit.ly/1f0bckV) that the $85,000 paid to top state Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Ricky Diaz exceeds the $56,000 salary a PR Week survey this year found as the industry average for professionals with less than five years of experience.

The CEO of the Raleigh-based public relations firm French West Vaughan said the 24-year-old Diaz is making about twice what someone with his experience would earn at a private company.

McCrorys spokeswoman Kim Genardo said Diaz does more than PR for the health agency, including managing a staff.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is defending the big government salaries and raises granted to two young Republicans who worked on his 2012 campaign.

McCrory told WNCN in Raleigh a pair of 24-year olds recently promoted to key senior positions at the Department of Health and Human Services are well qualified, despite having worked in state government only a few months. McCrory said both beat out older job candidates for their positions, adding that it would be wrong to discriminate against someone on the basis of age.

Matthew McKillip is paid $87,500 annually as the chief policy adviser to DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos. DHHS Communications Director Ricky Diaz is paid $85,000. Both are recent college graduates who worked on McCrory's 2012 campaign and transition team.
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Young Republicans who helped elect North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory have been rewarded with big salaries in his new administration.

Matthew McKillip was named this week as chief policy adviser to Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos. Records show the 24-year-old received a $22,500 raise in April, bringing his salary to $87,500.

Before joining state government in January, McKillip worked for McCrory's 2012 campaign and spent 11 months as a research assistant at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

Records show 24-year-old DHHS Communications Director Ricky Diaz got an even bigger raise in April, boosting his state salary to $85,000. Diaz campaigned for McCrory after working for one year in the office of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

McCrory didn't respond to requests Thursday seeking comment.


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