Another high-ranking DHHS official resigns

Posted Nov. 28, 2011, at 4:52 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Another high-ranking member of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services has resigned.

Catherine Cobb, director of the DHHS Division of Licensing and Regulation, submitted her resignation letter on Nov. 18.

“After 31 years of service to state government during which she held various positions of responsibility, Catherine Cobb is resigning from the Department of Health and Human Services effective December 2, 2011,” DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew said in a statement. “Cobb stated that she intends to pursue other opportunities outside of state government.”

According to DHHS Spokesman John Martins, Cobb and Anne Flanagan, assistant director of licensing and regulation, were placed on paid administrative leave Oct. 21 as a part of a managerial review of that division.

Martins said Flanagan remains on paid leave but he could provide no additional information about the department review.

The licensing and regulation division oversees regulation of most health care facilities in Maine, including hospitals and nursing homes. Cobb has been more high profile in the last few years, since her division also was responsible for overseeing Maine’s medical marijuana program.

Cobb is the latest in a series of departures by DHHS officials.

In October, Barbara Van Burgel, director of the DHHS Office of Family Independence and the state’s de facto welfare director, said she was pushed out because “the administration wanted a clean sweep and a chance to put their own leaders in place.” Van Burgel was a 28-year DHHS veteran.

Others DHHS employees that have been let go since Gov. Paul LePage took office include Don Chamberlain and Ron Welch, the heads of Adult Mental Health Services program; Diana Scully of the Elder Services program and Jane Gallivan of Adults with Cognitive and Physical Disabilities; Anthony Marple, head of MaineCare Services and James Beogher, director of the Child and Family Services program.

Former MaineCare medical director Dora Anne Mills was fired as well.

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