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State attorney’s suicide comes two months after firing

December 28, 2018

Former director of the Department of Health and Human Services Courtney Phillips had accomplishments, but she also left behind an agency emptied of many longtime public employees who had worked their way up over 10 to 30 years to be managers or administrators. Over the past couple of years they have been fired, asked to resign or retire, or left, they said, to preserve their own mental health. One of those, Brad Gianakos, was a respected HHS attorney who was unceremoniously fired and two months later committed suicide. It took six months to report the story, and included interviews with more than 15 sources. I got more response to this story than any in a long time.

— JoAnne Young

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