Under the Dome

Seven months, no records from DHHS on Carol Steckel’s emails

It’s been 205 days since The News & Observer requested emails of former state Medicaid director Carol Steckel.

The McCrory administration hired Steckel with great fanfare in January 2013 to reform Medicaid. The N&O requested the records the day after Steckel resigned in late September. The state Department of Health and Human Services has provided no documents.

But Kevin V. Howell, legal communications coordinator for the department, said in an email last week that “we will be in a position to begin reviewing Carol Steckel’s emails very shortly.”

That’s nearly seven months with no work on the request. “As you know,” Howell wrote, “public records requests are processed in the order in which they are received.”

North Carolina law requires public agencies to make public records available “as promptly as possible.” Dome is reminded that Gov. Pat McCrory, during his campaign, pledged transparency in office.