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Gary Alexander -PA welfare secretary and RI landlord

September 6, 2011

Remember Gary Alexander, RI’s former director of the Department of Human Services and the former Secretary of the Executive Office of Human Services?

I wrote about Alexander earlier this year when he published an unauthorized report on the Ocean State’s Global Medicaid Waiver.  He claims the reorganization of RI’s services for the poor, elderly, and disabled saved the state more than 110 million dollars, but no one can confirm his  numbers.

My posts about Alexander have been getting a lot of hits lately, so I decided to check in on his progress as Pennsylvania’s Welfare Secretary. Turns out he’s balancing that job with a new Rhode Island based company called Smart Alex Consulting LLC.

The Patriot News reports Alexander says the company will allow him to buy rental properties in RI, but  lawmakers like Sen. Shirley Kitchen, D-Philadelphia are skeptical about the arrangement. She’s calling for an investigation.

There are so many layers of potential conflict for one of Gov. Corbett’s appointees, who has been given extreme authority to find and cut hundreds of millions of dollars in the department, to be splitting his time and attention between such a substantial effort at DPW and a private venture. If that is what he is doing, I am concerned.

Sen. Pat Vance, R-Cumberland County, is also unsure about Alexander’s new company.

I was surprised. He evidently formed this LLC a week or so after he was confirmed…I don’t pretend to be a lawyer so I don’t know if it’s necessary to form a LLC to buy and sell real estate, but why, if you are buying and selling real estate, why does one call it a consulting company?

But Alexander’s boss Governor Tom Corbett is OK with Smart Alex LLC. The Patriot News reports-

Having a rental property business is not a violation of the governor’s code of conduct, said Kevin Harley, Corbett’s press secretary.  Based on Alexander’s description of his intentions for his business, Harley said it creates no ethical violations.  “It’s perfectly legal. It happens every day in America. And he would be allowed to do that as a Cabinet secretary,” Harley said.

What do you think?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2011 12:38 am

    …Megan-you’re killing me! Say it isn’t so!

  2. September 7, 2011 2:38 pm

    Gary Alexander keeps this blog running.

  3. Jane Yavis permalink
    February 5, 2012 2:26 pm

    Corbett is a weak leader,,,, Alexander successfully took the light off hiself when he fired one of his assistants for “outside Interests”.

  4. Officer Abdal permalink
    February 14, 2012 10:20 pm

    I don’t get it. Where is the conflict? You can’t own real estate if you work for a state government? What conflict of interest exists between real estate and reforming Medicaid?

    • February 15, 2012 10:46 am

      Hi Officer Abdal- I think the law makers are concerned that Alexander is splitting his energy between a full time position in state government and a consulting firm in Rhode Island. But it appears the Governor’s office isn’t worried. That’s the controversy as I understand it.

Trackbacks

  1. Gary Alexander adviser touts benefits of semen « The Pulse: health care in RI
  2. Gary Alexander running up travel costs for PA taxpayers while commuting from RI « On Politics

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