Yikes! Sec. of State Brian Kemp is in trouble…again.
This time, it’s nurses he’s messing with, after abruptly and single-handedly changing the leadership of the state board that oversees licensure for nurses, as well as fraud and ethics complaints. The board is still recovering from a significant backlog of cases that often take more than a year to resolve.
Kemp is already in hot water for a serious data breach of voter information that occurred late last year. Over six million voter records — including social security numbers and other personally identifying information — were leaked, and Kemp did not publicly address the situation until a lawsuit brought the data breach to light over a month after it occurred.
He also is involved with bungling candidate qualifications for a Southwest Georgia district. The current representative for that district — conservative Gerald Greene — reached out to his office to disqualify his Democratic opponent, James Williams. Williams had been voting in the district since 2010 redistricting, with Kemp’s office contending that it was happenstance they reached out to local officials to correct the clerical error that put him in the “wrong” district.
So that Brian Kemp has now decided to replace state nursing board executive director Jim Cleghorn with the less experienced head of the state cosmetology board. The decision has baffled nurses, who were pleased that the state nursing board has finally begun to show progress towards getting the backlog of cases under control.
The AJC reports:
Lisa Eichelberger, dean of nursing at Clayton State University, said the state nursing board is functioning as well [as] it has in 20 years. The idea that Kemp would pull the executive director is confounding, she said.
“We just can’t understand why now,” she said.
Emory University Nursing School Dean Linda McCauley also asked, “Why would you take a strong leader from your largest board and remove him?”
Kemp ultimately agreed to a six-month transition period, instead of immediate removal, after both the board and the Georgia Association of Nursing Deans and Directors called Kemp out for his decision.
Unresolved is why this happened in the first place. Why would a leader of a state board — who all parties acknowledge has been successful in improving the performance of the board he oversees — be abruptly and unilaterally removed?
Better Georgia has repeatedly called Kemp and his office out for questionable behavior. So it’s not surprising that Better Georgia once again wonders: who’s really benefiting from Kemp’s “leadership?”