Fired cabinet secretary says lobbyist didn’t sway hiring

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Gov. Tom Wolf’s dismissed cabinet secretary in charge of drug and alcohol programs says he never directed a job applicant to undergo a pre-hiring interview by a lobbyist for addiction treatment contractors.

Gary Tennis said Wednesday that the applicant’s meeting with a representative of the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of Pennsylvania was not an interview. He says he has a stack of emails that demonstrates that the decision to hire the applicant was made well before she met with the lobbyist.

Tennis was dismissed Tuesday following a report by the Reading Eagle that a former agency bureau director, Angela Episale, had said Tennis told her in 2015 to meet with the lobbyist to boost her chances of getting hired.

Wolf’s office isn’t saying why it abruptly dismissed Tennis.

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