NEW: Embattled HHS Secretary Beane to Leave Raimondo Administration
Friday, November 16, 2018
Beane, who had come under fire in June after a member of the department failed to meet a legal deadline that could have cost the state millions of dollars, was appointed by Raimondo to the position in June 2017.
While Raimondo credits Beane with his work in the department, he was criticized by political opponents for his handling of the legal controversy.
"I am deeply grateful for Eric's four years of service to the people of Rhode Island. Because of Eric's work, Rhode Island's health and human services are undoubtedly stronger today than they were when I first took office," said Raimondo in a release on Friday afternoon. "Under his direction, we've reformed DCYF, improved customer service at DHS and implemented a nationally recognized action plan to address the addiction and overdose crisis that is saving Rhode Islanders' lives. Eric has been a part of my team from the day I was first inaugurated and I am forever appreciative of his efforts and commitment. He is driven by public service and leads with compassion."
In June, the Rhode Island Republican Party criticized Bean's management of the department, stating the following.
"Under Governor Gina Raimondo, R.I. Health & Human Services failed to file an appeal of a court decision, which could cost the state $24 million. This is the same agency which is responsible for the UHIP debacle.
Gregory Hazian, who failed to file the appeal, is a Mattiello donor who volunteered on Mattiello’s campaign in 2016. Eric Beane, who heads the agency that failed to file the appeal, previously served as Raimondo’s deputy chief of staff."
GOP Chairman Brandon Bell said: “They should all be fired. This is gross incompetence. First, Hazian, then Beane, and finally the voters should fire Raimondo herself. Four years of incompetence is enough. Let’s get people working at Health and Human Services who know what they are doing.
Search for New Secretary
Lisa Vura-Weis, currently a deputy chief of staff in Governor Gina Raimondo's office, will serve as the acting Secretary while a comprehensive search for a permanent replacement is conducted.
"Working for Governor Raimondo has been the thrill of a lifetime. Over the last four years, we have expanded access to high-quality health care, reduced the number of overdose deaths, controlled health care costs, strengthened DCYF and turned a corner on UHIP. Her vision for the state is creating opportunities for more Rhode Islanders," said Beane. "I'm proud of our accomplishments and have deep faith that the Governor and her team will continue to build on that foundation. I will be forever grateful that Governor Raimondo has given me this opportunity to serve."
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