Gov. Scott Walker's top marshal in efforts to cut Medicaid costs in the state has resigned.
Dennis Smith, whose appointment in 2011 drew scorn from liberals because of a previous post at the conservative Heritage Foundation, wrote in a letter to Walker (dated Thursday) that he's leaving to pursue "a tremendous opportunity in the private sector."
Smith featured in a bizarre story late last year in which the top lawyer in Smith's department, Mary Spear, complained to police that her husband, Andrew Spear, had lured her to a storage locker, beaten her and doused her with gasoline in an attempt to kill her. Andrew's lawyer said his client had found emails between Smith and the woman that suggested a romantic relationship. Smith, in talking to reporters, later denied having any kind of relationship with Mary Spear that extended beyond friendship.
Smith's exit also comes on the heels of Walker's announcement last week that the state would refuse $3.9 billion in additional Medicaid funding from the federal government (through 2020). Pressroom Buzz covered how the denial was first leaked to a Republican blogger at the Journal Sentinel, Christian Schneider, leaving news reporters at the paper to play catch-up.