Local employer caught up in McCrory controversy
An executive with a major High Point company, who works for the husband of North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos, landed a lucrative government contract to provide her with advice.
Wos’s agency has refused for three weeks to provide The Associated Press with a copy of the consulting contract awarded to Joe Hauck or say how much he is paid, information that is a public record under state law.
Hauck is the vice president of sales and marketing for New Breed Logistics, a High Point company for which Wos’ husband Louis DeJoy is the chief executive officer.
New Breed is one of the top 20 employers in the city with 544 employees, according to the most recent annual report of the High Point Economic Development Corp. New Breed has several corporate offices in the Piedmont Centre business park in north High Point.
On its website, New Breed describes itself as “privately held, third-party logistics provider that helps companies design and operate efficient supply chains.”
The company has expanded steadily since it began operations in High Point 21 years ago. Over the years the company has landed contracts to provide logistics support and services to the U.S. Postal Service and Boeing Co. for its aircraft.
The Associated Press found that it is not clear what specific work Hauck has performed for DHHS. His resume posted online lists no prior experience in the field of health care.
Hauck did not respond to messages left for him this week with his assistant at New Breed. DHHS spokeswoman Julie Henry also did not respond to multiple calls and emails this week. Wos was appointed head of DHHS by GOP Gov. Pat McCrory.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Friday that Hauck has been paid $228,000 in the past eight months, which would make him among the agency’s highest compensated individuals.
Hauck has been a strong political supporter of McCrory, who took office in January. Hauck and his wife have donated $14,750 to McCrory’s gubernatorial campaign, according to records at the N.C. State Board of Elections.
All told, New Breed employees and members of their families gave more than $216,000 to McCrory’s campaign, according to a report issued earlier this year by Progress NC, a left-leaning policy group. The company led by Wos’ husband also gave $25,000 to the Republican Governors Association, which supported McCrory’s campaign.
In a written statement to the newspaper, DHHS communications director Ricky Diaz said Hauck had assisted Wos in “assembling a top-notch management team in order to reorganize, redirect and restructure the department.”
Wos’ leadership of the state’s largest departmental agency has been under scrutiny for months. A former ambassador to Estonia under President George W. Bush and campaign fundraiser for Gov. Pat McCrory, Wos has used her government position to surround herself with Republican Party operatives.
Last year Wos was one of the organizers of a Women for McCrory campaign event held for McCrory at the High Point Country Club. McCrory became the state’s first GOP governor in 20 years when he defeated former Democratic Lt. Gov. Walton Dalton in last year’s general election.
Diaz, a 24-year-old former campaign spokesman for McCrory is paid $85,000 a year to manage the agency’s message and oversee compliance with the state’s public records law. Wos’ chief adviser for policy issues is another 24-year-old, former McCrory campaign staffer Matthew McKillip. He is paid $87,500.
Details of all DHHS contracts are supposed to be available on the agency’s web site.
Hauck is listed as receiving an individual consulting contract from Wos’ office naming him as a “senior adviser” on March 1. That original short-term contract has been extended and amended at least 4 times as of Aug. 30. However, the agency’s web site publicly lists Hauck’s compensation under that contract and extensions as $0.