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Abbott Appoints New Inspector General for Plagued State Health Agency

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Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Stuart W. Bowen, Jr. as Inspector General for the plagued Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The previous Inspector General stepped down on December 31st when Governor Rick Perry asked him to do so. The state agency has been in the midst of a controversy relative to an alleged no-bid contract given 21CT. State and federal probes have been initiated.

As reported in the Austin American-Statesman, Mike Rosen, a spokesperson for 21CT, said the company knows there are “a number of ongoing investigations and audits of HHSC by state and federal entities.” 21CT conducts Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse investigations.

In late December 2014, 21CT laid off workers, and according to the Austin Business Journal, the massive layoff was necessary in order for the company to stay in business. The company was reported to say that the “layoff [was] necessary due to a sudden and unexpected withdrawal of a multi-million-dollar [contract] extension with the Health and Human Services Commission for the State of Texas.” According to the article, 21CT CEO Irene Williams strongly refutes any allegations of impropriety or that the contract was not competitive.

The Inspector General is charged with preventing, detecting, and investigating, fraud, abuse, and waste in Texas health and human services programs. Bowen served as the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) for 10 years. He was responsible for leading the federal agency that was charged with overseeing $62 billion US tax dollars appropriated for Iraq’s reconstruction. Bowen reported to the Secretaries of Defense and State and according to the press release from the Governor’s office, Bowen secured nearly $2 billion in taxpayer benefits, obtained over 90 convictions, and produced over 500 reports. He traveled to Iraq thirty-five times.

Bowen has also served President George W. Bush as Deputy Assistant to the President, Deputy Staff Secretary, Special Assistant to the President, and Associate Counsel. He has served as an Assistant Attorney General of Texas. His military service includes serving four years on active duty as a United States Air Force intelligence officer. Bowen earned an Air Force Commendation medal and by the time he was honorably discharged, he had achieved the rank of Captain.

Bowen is a Senior Advisor on Iraq to both the United States Chamber of Commerce and the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.  His appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.


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