New executive of agency for children with special health needs is wife of appraiser who helped Bevin win property-tax appeal

Shellie May (Photo from Twitter)
"The wife of the appraiser whose work led to Gov. Matt Bevin winning the appeal of the property-tax value of his Anchorage house last summer has landed a state job that pays $90,000 a year," as executive director of the Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs, Tom Loftus reports for the Louisville Courier Journal.

Shellie A. May of Louisville, who started the job Jan. 8, told Loftus that "she has the most important qualification for the job — she raised a son with special health care needs," he reports, quoting her: “My heart beats, and I have a passion, for kids with special needs and their families. Because until you have lived it, you will never know what I and my family go through with having a medically fragile son.”

Cabinet for Health and Family Services spokesman Doug Hogan also cited May's "nursing and managerial credentials," but Loftus found that May has never been licensed as a nurse in Kentucky. Her  Twitter account is labeled "Shellie May, BSN," for bachelor of science in nursing. She was executive assistant to Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf, earning $60,269 a year.

"May said she was one of six persons interviewed for the appointment," Loftus reports. "And she said she is confident that her husband John May’s appraisal work for the governor last year had nothing to do with getting the job. She noted she served briefly as a member of the commission by appointment of former Gov. Ernie Fletcher on his last day in office in 2007."

May told Loftus, “I’ve been actively involved with the commission. . . . I have served this community with Easter Seals, the Louisville Pediatric Therapy Center. I have worked with home health agencies. . . . It’s something I’ve pretty much lived for 22 years, having a medically fragile child.”

May succeeded Jackie Richardson, who was executive director for about six years until last fall. "As executive director, May oversees an agency with 11 offices across the state and an annual budget of about $21 million," Loftus reports. "The agency, according to its description in the state budget, works to assure that services to children with disabilities are comprehensive, community-based, family-centered and coordinated. It provides an array of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services, including medical care, case management, therapy, transportation and nutrition education."

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