|By Craig Jarvis, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
But now Vincoli might have whistled himself out of a job.
Vincoli is fighting to keep his position with the state
Vincoli, whose job focused on health care costs in the state prisons, was fired two months after the agency reclassified his position to make it exempt from the protections of the state personnel law. The move made it more difficult for him to appeal his dismissal. His attorney calls what happened a "sham" meant to cover up the department's real motive.
The agency disputes that and says the position Vincoli held was redefined. The job and its qualifications changed, so the person who held the position had to change, said
"There was and is no retaliation," Walker said.
And while Public Safety is the agency Vincoli is battling now, his original beef had nothing to do with his own department. Rather, it involved his concern with state money that flowed to privately run
"Why fire a guy this good?" Byrne said.
Prompting an audit
Vincoli's road to whistle-blower has been a contentious one.
Vincoli's battles began while he was the director of managed care at
He also says he told the hospital that it was being overpaid by the public health insurance plan for state employees and teachers.
Vincoli, who lives in the
The State Auditor's Office looked into his claims and, in 2011, issued an audit that found the health plan had overpaid the hospital
The hospital sued Vincoli in early 2011, accusing him of "unjustified, vindictive, malicious and gratuitous" actions. Several months later, it dropped the lawsuit.
The state auditor expanded that original probe into a broader review of issues involving the health plan and determined in 2011 the plan might have overpaid as much as
Saving the state money
The state's whistle-blower law was written to protect employees, but it didn't apply to tipsters who weren't state employees.