Jack Stick, the top lawyer for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, is resigning his post amid a crumbling state contract with data warehouse 21CT.
The commission’s Office of Inspector General, or OIG, has been under scrutiny for the way it decided to award a highly sought-after contract to the company to store and sort the sprawling health agency’s data into searchable, cataloged material. The state tentatively awarded the contract to 21CT outside the formal bidding process, Janek has said.
“Contractors have raised issues about the procurement for this project,” Kyle Janek, the agency’s executive commissioner, said in a statement Friday. “I’ve looked into those concerns, and I’m not comfortable with the process used so I’ve withdrawn the request for state approval to extend the project and notified the OIG.”
As the agency considered which company to hire, Stick, who had worked with 21CT before, suggested there might be overlap in the new data project and services the company provided, Janek has said. In September, Janek, Stick’s boss and a Gov. Rick Perry appointee, defended Stick’s work ethic and professionalism.
But agency spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman said Friday that Stick offered his resignation to Janek and Janek accepted.
“Regardless of the merits of this project, we cannot have doubts about the fairness of the procurement process,” Janek said Friday. “Our business should be conducted in the light of day in a transparent bid process open to all qualified companies.”
Separately, Stick has been in hot water for fighting a 2012 charge of driving while intoxicated in Austin’s entertainment district. Stick is set to face a jury trial Feb. 19 on that charge.
Before he arrived at the commission’s Office of Inspector General in 2011, Stick was a state representative for House District 50, a municipal court judge in Bee Cave and a longtime friend of Perry.