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GOP senators blast state’s reason to hire ousted lawmaker

Senate Republican leaders say they’re “disappointed and offended” by the response they received from the state over concerns of “political favoritism” when it hired a former lawmaker.


Former Senate President Pro Tem Patricia Blevins lost her re-election bid this past November.


The Department of Health and Social Services eventually hired her to lead the Office of Animal Welfare in January, months after a nationwide search to fill the position ended in late October.


In a letter to Senate Minority Leader Gary Simpson (R-Milford) and Whip Greg Lavelle (R-Sharpley), the agency says it failed to find a qualified applicant during its search.


DHSS Secretary Kara Odom Walker wrote they didn’t need to repost the vacancy before hiring Blevins, since it’s an exempt position, and Blevins is well qualified for the job that pays $84,000 a year.


Simpson and Lavelle responded by calling that explanation “unacceptable,” adding “the wagons have been circled and the true and shadowy Delaware Way wins again.”


The two longtime politicians had sent a letter two weeks ago asking several questions about whether others identified during the search had been interviewed and if the person who approached Blevins about the job had been a political ally.

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