State's top anti-drug official fired
Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | 01.24.17
(Harrisburg) -- The state's top anti-drug official is out.
Governor Tom Wolf has dismissed the Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Gary Tennis.
The move came just hours after the Reading Eagle reported emails show Tennis pushed a job applicant to meet with a lobbyist to get a stamp of approval.
The story showed after the meeting, Tennis emailed Angela Episale to say the lobbyist thought she was a good fit.
Episale was eventually hired.
The lobbyist - Deb Beck - represents drug and alcohol treatment centers, and some have questioned whether her members are stifling a move towards more evidence-based treatment.
Tennis had led the state's efforts to fight against the opioid epidemic, which has killed thousands of Pennsylvanians in the past two years.
Deputy Secretary Jennifer Smith, who has been with the department for 15 months, will take over as acting secretary.
Published in PA Policy