In violation of its own policy, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission paid $97,020 so a top aide to Commissioner Kyle Janek — and former aide to ousted chief counsel Jack Stick — could pursue an MBA degree, The Texas Tribune has learned.
Casey Haney, now Janek’s $159,075-a-year deputy chief of staff, has been working on his graduate business degree at the University of Texas at Austin. His tuition was paid to UT up front out of the HHSC budget, a rare academic reimbursement deal that was approved in writing by Erica Stick, who is Haney’s supervisor, Jack Stick’s wife and Janek’s chief of staff.
Tweaks to the mega-agency’s tuition program were among a laundry list of reforms that HHSC — embroiled in contracting scandals and the target of at least two investigations — announced Friday.
House Speaker Joe Straus, meanwhile, also announced that his upcoming budget proposal will tighten the reins on state contracting.