Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis G. Smith
Smith was appointed by Governor Scott Walker to serve as Secretary of
the Department of Health Services on January 3, 2011. The agency is
responsible for Wisconsin Medicaid programs which provide health care
and long-term care services to more than 1 million enrollees, operates
four mental health facilities, regulates state hospitals and coordinates
the public health response for the state of Wisconsin.
In addition to his state and federal government service, Secretary
Smith has worked as Managing Director of Medicaid Practice at Leavitt
Partners, a partnership that advises clients in the practice areas of
health, environment and trade. He was also a Senior Fellow at the
Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C. think tank(term used loosely).
Smith has a Master's Degree in Public Administration from George Mason University and completed his undergraduate work at Illinois State University. Smith and his wife Laurel have four daughters.
Dennis Smith now is known for two things in his time in the Walker Administration. The first being he wants to destroy Medicaid (and with the help of Scott Walker he looks like he is going to be successful in that) and using Wisconsin taxpayer money to hire his high school crush and bring her to Madison.
It seems as though Mr. Smith, when interviewing for the position of chief legal counsel, interviewed a total of one candidate. Working in the back yard of one of the most prestigious law schools in the country, Mr. Smith felt that no one in Wisconsin could possibly do the job as well as someone that he allegedly, once took to senior prom in high school. Apparently she looked good enough in her dress that night that she did not need to be practicing law at the time nor have any working knowledge of WI.
Last August this all came to head, because while Dennis Smith was using our taxpayer dollars to bring his high school crush to Madison(using our taxpayer dollars to do so), it seems that her husband was not so excited about it. Andrew Spear, allegedly came across some emails, confirming his suspicion that Smith and his wife were having an affair.
This led to a very ugly incident between the two, that was not covered very well in the media. The one thing that consistently came out of this and was covered, was Dennis Smith's denial of the affair!
In a statement from Smith, he acknowledged a lifelong friendship with Mary Spear, and denied having an affair with her.
"I categorically and unequivocally deny that I have ever had a relationship with Mary Spear beyond friendship," Smith stated.Smith was so adamant that he denied his affair, that he had to take some more WI taxpayer money to hire a consultant and put a press release saying he really really didnt have an affair....honest! Smith also pointed out that he will no longer have any public comments. He was not kidding.
It seems that Mr. Spear has been trying to get the relevant phone/email records of Mr. Smith and Mrs. Spear that will prove that what he has to say about their affair is true. After all the emails that Mr. Spear found are key in every version of the story. Dennis Smith, who promised that he would not have any more comments, holds true to that even if it means breaking open records laws to do so!
However, Mr. Smith does not need to really comment anymore, as the motions filed in Dane County Branch 7 speak volumes. In this motion we learn that allegedly:
1. After the altercation at the storage shed, Mary drove Andrew home grabbed her computer and tried to leave. Andrew stopped her from leaving, police were called and all the while she was very protective of her computer.
2. Mary Spear admitted to the police that this whole altercation started when Andrew found the emails on her hard drive.
3. The State has possession of all computers.
Then the next motion was filed and has even more interesting alleged claims: where Mr. Spear says that Mrs. Spear went into this panic when he threatened to tell Mrs. Smith! We also find that Mrs. Spear told different people different versions of what happened in the storage shed.
The Spears had the ultimate tragedy happen to them a few years ago and that is something no one should have to live with. I render no judgements on them and what happened in the storage shed. That is for them and the courts of Wisconsin to sort out!
I do however hold serious concerns about Mr. Dennis Smith. The person who heads the Department of Health Services and makes $122,568/yr, the person who is in charge of hundreds of thousands of peoples healthcare in Wisconsin, should have better judgement then to get himself involved in the middle of a volatile marriage like the Spears.
Dennis Smith should also answer for why we as Wisconsin taxpayers, have to pay so much money to overcome his lapses in judgement. Mr. Smith should also answer why he would only interview one person for such an important job with the state of WI! Mr. Smith also needs to answer if he takes his job seriously and why he would get so involved in the life of someone who reports to him(irregardless if there was an affair). if the court documents do get released and they show an affair, then Mr. Smith needs to explain that to the taxpayers of Wisconsin and Governor Walker will have to answer questions on his hiring practices and if Mr. Smith is fit to be in his position! Governor Walker should also explain why he would be hiring people from the Heritage Foundation, does ideology trump competence?
In the meantime, while we wait for the answers to come out for those questions, maybe Mr Smith can start out by answering this question. If there was no affair, why would you communicate so much with Mrs. Spear via your state provided and owned blackberry and say this:
in which Mary declared her love for Dennis and wondered if he was leaving her to which he responded " My dearest, I did not know that you had called. I am sorry you think I left you. Stupidly left my Blackberry at the office."
Stay tuned, this case will get very interesting!