Pa. Dem. gubernatorial candidate says he'd promote transparency in Dept. of Health

Courtesy of Tom Wolf
July 14, 2014

If elected, Tom Wolf, who’s the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Pennsylvania, says he’d promote transparency at the state Department of Health. The agency was accused by two former employees of trying to muzzle its workers on the issue of natural gas drilling.

The retired workers claim they were told not to respond to phone calls from people who complained about natural gas operations.

In 2012, Health Department employees were sent a list of drilling-related “buzzwords” and directed to forward calls to its Bureau of Epidemiology. While campaigning in Chambersburg, Wolf wouldn’t get into specifics, but says he would make the agency accountable.

“The idea is to make people actually trust their government—look to government for answers—not to think that we’re alien and the enemy,” says Wolf.

The Health Department says its buzzword list was meant to guide employees in responding to calls—not an effort to silence them.

Governor Corbett has refused to answer questions about the matter, but his spokesman recently said the governor's office had no role the health department’s policy.