Recently, the firing of Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Secretary Lynn Peterson and the resignation of State Department of Corrections (DOC) Secretary Dan Pacholke revealed ongoing mismanagement and incompetency impacting two of our state’s biggest agencies. But, Peterson and Pacholke are not the only Jay Inslee appointees who had to be pushed out of their positions. Last month, Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Kevin Quigley resigned under less scandalous circumstances (comparatively).
Inslee appointed Quigley soon after he began his gubernatorial tenure. Like so many of Inslee’s appointees, Quigley was hardly qualified for the position. But, he was highly partisan (a must for Inslee). Via the Seattle Times,
“Before assuming the post, Quigley served as a state senator and worked as a lawyer, Internet company executive and president of an Everett shipyard. He had no experience in social work or running a large government agency before he took the job.”
Just to be clear, DSHS is the state’s largest agency, operates on a whopping $14 billion dollar two-year budget and employs more than 17,500 people. Yet, Inslee went ahead and appointed someone as inexperienced for the task as Quigley.
DSHS has had its share of status quo leaders who failed to address persistent problems. The agency has “faced accusations of failing to halt abuse, including scores of lawsuits in which children have been victims of rape, torture and starvation.” And, in the end, Quigley proved to be just another ineffective Inslee appointee. The Seattle Times,
“Recently, reports came to light that patients at Western State have assaulted hundreds of employees, resulting in millions of dollars in medical costs and thousands of missed days of work. Federal regulators repeatedly threatened to cut millions in funding to the hospital last year after inspections found system wide failures.”
Quigley’s appointment is just another example of the stunning mismanagement and disturbing corruption that results after 32 years of one-party rule of our state government. As he proved through his sometimes bizarre and almost always less-than-stellar appointments, Inslee is more concerned with surrounding himself with partisans willing to push his agenda without question than with reforming state government for the better.