Citing the “appearance of an independence impairment,” North Carolina’s Democratic state auditor Beth Wood terminated the state’s contract with MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber in a phone conversation with him on Wednesday. The official letter terminating his contract was executed on Thursday.
The Washington Post reported that Wood made the decision after consulting with the leadership of the Republican-controlled state legislature. Gruber had been hired by Wood in November 2013 “to analyze the state’s Community Care of North Carolina program, which provides managed care to the poor and disabled.”
WRAL in Raleigh, North Carolina, reported on Thursday, “During the intervening year, Gruber helped the auditor’s office find and analyze DHHS data.” Bill Holmes, a spokesperson for the auditor’s office, told WRAL “At least eight months of that was fighting with data.”
“Gruber’s comment that it was all right to mislead people to get to a desired outcome that he favored led our auditors to determine he had at least the appearance of an independence impairment,” Holmes told WRAL.
According to WRAL, “The auditor’s office will end up paying Gruber $100,000 for work that has already been completed.” North Carolina is the second state this week in which Gruber has run into rough waters with his existing contracts.
Unlike North Carolina, which terminated his contract, the state of Vermont announced Wednesday that it was keeping his existing $450,000 contract but unilaterally altering the p
ayment terms to Gruber. As Breitbart News reported on Friday, however, despite these claims, the state of Vermont’s contract apparently remains unchanged so far.
Breitbart News asked Professor Gruber, via email, to comment on the cancellation of his North Carolina contract. Professor Gruber promptly provided a one word email response: “No.”