– Jennifer Gray’s Employers Can’t Say Who Recommended Her
– Did General Counsel Interview Ms. Gray or Not?
The day after our story that asked about a newly created, high-paying job given to North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore’s girlfriend, Jennifer Gray, was published, we received a call from an official at the Department of Insurance (DOI).
“We can see how you were confused,” said Marla Sink, deputy commissioner for communications, who proposed a conference call to clear things up.
Information previously provided by DOI officials was conflicting as to whether the job given to Ms. Gray was a political patronage position. And they had refused to explain themselves.
On October 1, during our conference call, DOI General Counsel John Hoomani explained why no other candidates were considered for the job given to Ms. Gray. Paperwork had been properly filed, including a copy to Speaker Moore, to make the position “policy-making exempt.” Meaning, the requirements of regular state jobs — such as being selected from a pool of applicants with no political influence — did not have to be followed. To back up his claim, Hoomani provided documents.
Was Her Resume Left Under the Door?
But when we asked Hoomani who recommended Ms.Gray, he stumbled.
Names Were Tossed Around
Ms. Sink sent us Ms. Gray’s resume and called the next day. She said that in the beginning of the administration, names were tossed around, and Jennifer Gray came up. DOI’s Chief of Staff John Baldwin and John Hoomani interviewed Ms. Gray.
Yet when I asked Mr. Hoomani during the conference call, he had no recollection of interviewing her.
Certainly, the general counsel of the North Carolina Dept. of Insurance talks to a lot of people. But you would think he would remember interviewing a woman romantically-linked to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
I asked Ms. Sink on Oct. 2 if she would please send me the emails that accompanied Ms. Gray’s resume. And the emails that set up the interviews by Mr. Baldwin and Hoomani.
Ms. Sink said she would look and get back to me.
We’ll inform our readers of what we learn.
Scott Peterson is executive director of Checks and Balances Project, an investigative blog that seeks to hold government officials, lobbyists and corporate management accountable to the public. Funding for C&BP comes from sustainable economy philanthropies and other donors.