McCrory defends double-digit pay raises for 2 state employees - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

McCrory defends double-digit pay raises for 2 state employees

Posted: Updated:
From left to right: DHHS Communications Director Ricky Diaz, DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos, DHHS Chief Policy Advisor Matthew McKillip From left to right: DHHS Communications Director Ricky Diaz, DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos, DHHS Chief Policy Advisor Matthew McKillip
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Gov. Pat McCrory is defending the 35 percent raises given to two high-level Health and Human Services employees earlier this year.

UPDATE: More raises at DHHS; McCrory memo ordered cutbacks

McCrory said DHHS Communications Director Ricky Diaz and DHHS Chief Policy Advisor Matthew McKillip received their raises as a result of their promotions within the department.

Diaz and McKillip were the recipients of those raises beginning in April. Data shows Diaz received a $23,000 a year pay bump, bringing his annual salary to $85,000. At the same time, McKillip began taking home an extra $22,500, bringing his annual salary to $87,500.

The salary data came from the Charlotte Observer's public employee salary database.

"[Diaz] was in my office as a communications person, working as a lower level communications person in the governor's office," McCrory said Thursday. "My Health and Human Services Secretary [Aldona Wos] was so impressed with him, she wanted him to move to Health and Human Services and head up that whole process."

The 35 and 37 percent pay increases come at a time when most other state employees, like public school teachers, received no raise at all in the state's new two-year budget.

When pressed on the issue of teacher pay, he added, "I want teachers to make a lot more. I want teachers to make what TV anchors get paid too."

"It makes me angry, very angry right now," fifth grade teacher Elizabeth Whisenant of Wake Forest said. Whisenant is one of those state employees who saw no extra money this year.

"Someone had said to me recently that the farther away you get from children, the more you get paid," she said.

The liberal think tank North Carolina Policy Watch first discovered the pay raises.

"What's going on here? It just doesn't make any sense," NC Policy Watch Director of Research and Policy Development Rob Schofield said.

Schofield points out both Diaz and McKillip are in their 20s and served on Gov. Pat McCrory's campaign last year.

"We're talking about some young, very inexperienced people who are just a step above being interns," he said. "And paying them close to $90,000 a year?"

It's something Whisenant can't wrap her head around either as she works multiple jobs this summer, teaching at a science camp and babysitting to make ends meet.

"Here I am, educating children and working my buns off to teach them and educate them and provide everything I can for them, and I am paid not even half of what that person is."

WNCN has reached out to DHHS repeatedly for comment, but has not received a response.

RELATED ARTICLES

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Judge's ruling on school vouchers being appealed

    Judge's ruling on school vouchers being appealed

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:29 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:29:21 GMT
    A ruling by a Wake County superior court judge that a state program to pay for private school vouchers is unconstitutional is being appealed.
    A ruling by a Wake County superior court judge that a state program to pay for private school vouchers is unconstitutional is being appealed.
  • SBI changes could affect 2016 NC gubernatorial election

    SBI changes could affect 2016 NC gubernatorial election

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:11 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:11:39 GMT
    McCrory quickly named an acting director for SBI Aug. 7, hours after signing legislation that shifted the agency to one of his Cabinet-level agencies, picking another one of his law enforcement leaders to fill the job.McCrory quickly named an acting director for SBI Aug. 7, hours after signing legislation that shifted the agency to one of his Cabinet-level agencies, picking another one of his law enforcement leaders to fill the job.
    A change in who the director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation reports to could have an affect on the 2016 gubernatorial election.
    A change in who the director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation reports to could have an affect on the 2016 gubernatorial election.
  • NC legislators approve regulating toxic coal ash

    NC legislators approve regulating toxic coal ash

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 8:36 PM EDT2014-08-21 00:36:33 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    North Carolina lawmakers have approved legislation they say makes the state the nation's first to address decades of toxic water pollution from residue left behind by coal-burning electricity plants.
    North Carolina lawmakers have approved legislation they say makes the state the nation's first to address decades of toxic water pollution from residue left behind by coal-burning electricity plants.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 59 Arrested By Greenville Police In Latest Prostitution Sting

    59 Arrested By Greenville Police In Latest Prostitution Sting

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:30:28 GMT
    Greenville Police released information Tuesday that 59 people were arrested in a four day long prostitution sting.
    Greenville Police released information Tuesday that 59 people were arrested in a four day long prostitution sting.
  • Woman Gives Birth To Baby Weighing Over 19 Pounds

    Woman Gives Birth To Baby Weighing Over 19 Pounds

    Thursday, August 21 2014 5:39 PM EDT2014-08-21 21:39:10 GMT
    Photo of Akbar Risuddin, a 19.2 pound baby who was born in Indonesia. (Credit: Associated Press)Photo of Akbar Risuddin, a 19.2 pound baby who was born in Indonesia. (Credit: Associated Press)
    A woman in Indonesia's has given birth to the country's heaviest-ever newborn.
    A woman in Indonesia's has given birth to the country's heaviest-ever newborn.
  • Savannah Man Wanted in Connection to Teen's Murder

    Savannah Man Wanted in Connection to Teen's Murder

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:16:14 GMT
    18-year-old Jo'Andre Robbins18-year-old Jo'Andre Robbins
    Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police are requesting the public's help in locating a Savannah man charged in the shooting death of a 17-year-old teen in the Carver Village last area Saturday night.
    Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police are requesting the public's help in locating a Savannah man charged in the shooting death of a 17-year-old teen in the Carver Village last area Saturday night.
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.