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Ethics complaint filed against DHHS secretary

Former state House speaker Richard Morgan has filed an ethics complaint against Lanier Cansler, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, alleging that the secretary is enriching himself by providing massive no-bid contracts to his former lobbying clients.

The complaint focuses on the admission by Cansler in a sworn affidavit that he still receives income from Cansler Fuquay Solutions, the lobbying firm he founded in 2005 after leaving state employment as the deputy DHHS secretary.

As a lobbyist, his firm represented several firms doing business with DHHS. When he was appointed by Gov. Beverly Perdue as the DHHS head last year, Cansler quit his lobbying job and sold his stake in the firm.

At the time, Perdue brushed aside concerns about Cansler's cozy ties with contractors earning millions from the agency he now heads.

As secretary, the agency Canlser heads has approved no bid contracts for some of his former clients, including a $30 million deal with the Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence, a company that reviews state Medicaid claims and procedures.

CCME still retains Cansler Fuquay Solutions to lobby state government on its behalf. Meanwhile, Cansler, a former Republican legislator, is still paid $3,000 a month by his former firm as part of the deal under which he sold his share of the company when becoming DHHS secretary.

“The conflict of interest here is clear," said Morgan, also a Republican, in a written statement issued Wednesday. "Cansler-Fuquay owed Secretary Cansler money. He wanted to be paid. And giving a no bid contract to Cansler-Fuquay’s client helped the firm pay the note."

Through a DHHS spokesperson, Cansler said Morgan’s complaint is “clearly politically motivated and without merit.”

Morgan is currently campaigning for state Senate.

UPDATED to include response from Cansler.

————

Cansler said his statement of economic interest, filed with the Ethics Commission upon his acceptance of the appointment as DHHS secretary, fully disclosed his continuing compensation from his former lobbying firm. 

A conservative blogger and GOP political consultant, Carter Wren, has been hammering Cansler's dealings with his former lobbying clients for months. As a defense, Cansler has said he has recused himself from decisions involving his former clients, delegating the review of the contracts to subordinates.

Morgan said Wednesday that is not enough.

"Delegating to someone you hire and control isn’t a recusal — it’s a dodge," Morgan said. "It’s like Mike Easley appointing the trustees of N.C. State University, telling them to hire his wife, then saying they made the decision.” 


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RE: CORUPTION WITHIN THE NC STATE GOVERNMENT

Afetr every article that i read that pertains to corruption wheather from the republicans or the dem's it just totaly disgust me an i am sure other taxpaying citizens as well. For it appears to me that the taxpayers that foot all of the state government bills in one form or the other are being toataly taking advantagge of by the legisture the governor an the nc stnate leaderswhip as they appear to be gettting cozier an cozier with the special instreste an their lobbying lobbyist just my oppinion on this subject thank you

Morgan Trying to get noticed

henrye, what would make you think i'd vote for him?

It would appear that someone

It would appear that someone is profiting from no bid contracts awarded by DHHS and it is not the taxpayer. These actions are the result of poor planning and mismanagement. Whatever Mr. Morgan's motives, his actions should prompt an investigation into the appearance of corrupt and possibly financially self-serving practices. Recent history suggests that such an investigation will be initiated by the federal government and not the state as federal funds are probably involved here. Stay tuned to this one. I suspect it is much bigger than it first appears.

Richard Morgan just trying to get noticed.

Just a little puzzled at what you said about Morgan being determined to make a fool of himself . as to why you would still vote for him .

Ethics complaint filed

I thought the Ethics word had been dropped from the Dictionary. since there is so much unethical conduct that has been going on all over the country .. most especially since the 1980s .It used to be that a person had a reputation that most guarded very carefully, lest it should become tarnished . But seemingly that is not important any more..

And this is a surprise? NOT!

Is this really a surprise to ANYONE, given the occupant of the Governor's Mansion? Bev Purdue has shown only one trait since taking office, and that is being part of the status quo. Cansler is really no more crooked than Bev is, he is just another chip to fall off the facade of respectability. More chips will fall until elections this November when the chips falling will turn into a full scale avalanche, resulting in a dismantleling of the state government apparatus. The voters aren't stupid. We're just waiting our turn . . . .

There should be zero NO BID contracts. PERIOD.

All firms should have an oportunity to bid on state purchases. And the taxpayers deserve to know they are getting the best deal.

MORGAN SUES CANSLER

This is just a Carter Wrenn special.Carter works for Morgan and Carter probably has a lobbying client who wants a contract with DHHS.Morgan is one of the most hated republicans by his own party in recent memory.Nothing will come of this.
Carter will try and lob more hand grenades as the race goes on but everyone knows Morgan.And thats the big problem.

Richard Morgan just trying to get noticed

It's been a while since Richard made the news - when he ran for the DPI position in '08. Now that he's running for state senate I guess he just wants to make some kind of a splash because his ridiculous emails and youtube videos aren't getting noticed by anyone. I'd rather have Morgan than one of Pope's goons in the Senate, but Morgan is bound and determined to make a fool of himself at every turn.

Just another criminal

When you are still taking cash from someone then you still have a stake in them. Their success means you get paid. Perdue needs to get rid fo the people that she appointed that are crooks, criminals, cronies, contributors.... get people that are in fact and appearance acceptable for those positions....

Been a while since I lived

Been a while since I lived in Georgia and worked for a public university there. At the time, it took heaven and earth to get ANY sole-source procurement approved by the purchasing authorities. My impression is that North Carolina state gov't is much looser about sole-source procurements -- probably to the detriment of taxpayers here.

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