INDIANAPOLIS – In a scathing resignation letter, Department of Child Service (DCS) Mary Beth Bonaventura identified Governor Eric Holcomb’s choice for DCS chief of staff, Eric Miller, as a core reason for her departure. Miller entered the agency with zero child welfare experience and Bonaventura makes clear his aims put vulnerable children’s welfare second, noting he was “bent on slashing our budget in ways that all but ensure children will die.” So why was he the governor’s choice? Bonaventura claims it was because Miller was an “asset during the campaign” of Governor Eric Holcomb.
Miller made nearly a dozen political contributions to Holcomb and Pence’s campaigns totaling more than $500. He now makes a taxpayer-funded salary of $135,000 as DCS chief of staff.
If it’s true Holcomb made this key staffing decision based on how politically accommodating Miller was, then how many other critical roles are now helmed by less-than-qualified political allies of the governor?
Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody questioned the governor’s decision.
“This is the same tired, politics-as-usual that Hoosiers loathe,” said Zody. “Is Governor Holcomb using six-digit, taxpayer-funded jobs to return political favors? And if he was willing to place an under-qualified political ally in a job where his incompetence may put children at risk, how many other suspect appointments has Holcomb made? Holcomb appears ready and willing to play politics at the agency tasked with protecting the most vulnerable among us. What does that say about his motivations?”