Ricky Diaz, a former McCrory aide whose $85,000 salary drew scrutiny in 2013, is returning to North Carolina as senior communications adviser for the N.C. Republican Party.
“I have a responsibility to recruit top talent to the state party,” GOP executive director Todd Poole said in a statement Friday. “Ricky’s extensive political, policy and campaign experience in addition to his deep knowledge of the state will be invaluable as we prepare to build on the gains made during the 2014 election.”
Diaz served as communications director for McCrory’s 2012 campaign. After the governor took office, Diaz worked in his press office before he became director of communications and public affairs for the Department of Health and Human Services in 2013.
That’s the job that generated headlines. Critics of McCrory said $85,000 was an unreasonable salary – it was a 37 percent raise from his previous position and he was 24 at the time. McCrory defended the decision, saying Diaz was “very well qualified” and being paid the standard salary for the position.
Diaz left North Carolina in early 2014 to become vice president of FP1 Strategies, a public affairs and political consulting firm in Washington, D.C.