Governor-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Friday her intention to select federal prosecutor Allison Bragg as the state’s inspector general.
“Allison Bragg shares my vision of driving efficiency by tackling waste, fraud, and abuse at all levels of government, and I have made her the next state inspector general,” Sanders said in a news release. As an ideal choice.
“She is a well-respected federal prosecutor, a lifelong Arkansas native, and brings a track record of success and leadership to the talented team I have assembled. We look forward to working with you to ensure it works.”
The Arkansas Inspector General’s Office enforces Medicaid and fair housing regulations. The department also conducts audits of executive branch agencies and resolves tax appeals.
Bragg is a spokeswoman and white collar coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas. During her ten years as an assistant U.S. attorney, she prosecuted cases including white-collar crime, public corruption, child exploitation, human trafficking and violent crimes, her officials said in a statement.
“I am honored to join the Sanders administration as Inspector General,” Bragg said. We will work together to achieve it with honor.”
Bragg is a member of the National Association of Legal Assistants and has served as its vice president. Raised in Lee County, Bragg graduated with honors from the University of Arkansas. She also earned a law degree and a master’s degree in agricultural law from the university.
While in law school, Bragg was on the team that won the National Moot Court competition in New York. According to her release, she won the best oral argument in the country at the competition.
Bragg will succeed Elizabeth Thomas Smith, who was appointed head of the department by outgoing Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Smith will remain director of the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General, according to Sanders spokesman Judd Deere.
Bragg’s annual salary has yet to be determined, Deere said. According to the Arkansas Transparency website, Smith’s annual salary as a division head is his $175,630.62.
On Thursday, Sanders announced that he intends to keep Darryl Bassett as director of the State Labor Licensing Service. His salary is $48,749.17, according to the state transparency website.
“Mr. Huckabee has been an outstanding employee during his two years at DLL,” deputy director Steve Guntherp said in an emailed statement Friday. “Secretary Bassett has no intention of changing employment.”
Arkansas has 15 executive branches headed by a secretary. Sanders named appointees for his 14 departments. As of Friday, she had yet to announce her nomination for the Ministry of Health, led by Lenny Mallory.