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WNCN Investigates

Former GOP worker hired as DHHS marketing director

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Another campaign worker for Gov. Pat McCrory has landed a high paying job at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

The department's employment and business practices has been under scrutiny for weeks as DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos and her communications director continue to refuse to answer questions at the department.

Aaron Mullins, 38, was brought on board this month as marketing director. He will run the agency's website and social media for a salary of $68,000 a year.

Mullins previously worked on the Capitol Hill staffs of then-GOP Sen. Elizabeth Dole and Sen. Don Nickles. Mullins then joined Fetzer Stephens, a political consulting firm led by former North Carolina Republican Party chairman Tom Fetzer.

Mullins was registered as a federal lobbyist as recently as last year, according to records. 

Mullins also produced a glowing biographical video on McCrory that was shown as part of the future GOP governor's 2012 election night victory celebration. Records show McCrory's campaign paid Mullins $7,000.

Late Tuesday, Kim Genardo, the Governor's communications director added, "The extent of Aaron Mullins freelance work on the McCrory campaign was one video project for election night."

He'll work under 24-year-old Ricky Diaz, a McCrory campaign aide, who landed the top communications job at a salary of $85,000 a year.

DHHS has been under fire after failing to prove recent high profile hires, including Diaz, ever had their positions posted.

The state auditor is now investigating whether the agency followed proper bidding rules for leasing new office space following the recent hirings.

McCrory declined to comment about the situation Tuesday.

N.C. State University political expert Andy Taylor said the public deserves transparency.

"If you don't come out and sort of say, either, 'Look, we were wrong. You guys were right. We should change things;' or 'You guys are wrong and here are the reasons why and what we've done is legitimate.'"

DHHS provided a copy of the most recent job posting which they said proves the position was open to outside applicants.

Diaz was not available for comment on the recent headlines.

Jonathan Carlson

Jonathan is an investigative reporter and anchor with over a decade of experience. Jonathan has broken stories that have resulted in local and statewide change. Contact our Investigative Team anytime HERE. More>>

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