Delaware's controversial hire in "last days on the job"

    The man drawing a state pension while also bringing in a salary as a consultant for the state will soon see an end to one of those paychecks.

    Vince Meconi, who became a controversial lightening rod for drawing a state pension while also bringing in a salary as a consultant for the state, will soon see an end to one of those paychecks.

    Governor Jack Markell tells WHYY, “He is in his last couple of days, he’ll be done by the end of this week.”

    The Markell administration hired Vince Meconi  in March 2009 as a consultant to help the State of Delaware manage stimulus funds.  He was also collecting a state pension having served as the Delaware Health and Human services director from 2001 to 2008.  DHSS oversees the Delaware Psychiatric Center which faced numerous allegations of patient abuse and wrongdoing during his tenure.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    Meconi’s consulting gig paid him more than $6,000 a month, on top of his $7,600 monthly state pension.

    “Believe me, I knew at the onset there might be some people who would criticize it,” Markell said.   “The issue is the stimulus funding is just so much bigger than any state’s ever gotten before.  We wanted to make sure we got every dollar we were entitled to and we want to make sure we account for it and track it properly, and that takes some resources. And he (Meconi) had experience that we felt would be helpful in this area and it has been helpful,” Markell said.

    Last summer, Delaware Representative Gregory Lavelle  (R- Sharpley) filed a FOIA request with the Markell administration to get more information about Meconi’s hiring.

    According to documents responding to Lavelle’s request posted on his website, “FOIA Watch“,  Meconi was paid the hourly rate of $75,000 per year.  Emails from office of management and budget director Ann Visalli stated Meconi’s term was initially to expire June 30, 2009.

    “I still question the wisdom of the hire, and the unfortunate decision for the Governor to go back on his word that Meconi would work for 90 days,” Greg Lavelle, said.

    WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal