DPW top deputy to resign, will join law firm's lobbying arm

The top deputy in the Department of Public Welfare - and the architect of the agency's sweeping cuts to social services programs - will leave his government post next month to join a law firm's lobbying practice.

Timothy Costa, executive deputy secretary of DPW, will begin work at Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney's government relations office on Sept. 10, the firm said in a press release.

"Tim is a recognized leader in the Commonwealth and around the country," said Tom Paese, chair of Buchanan's government relations practice. "His deep experience, keen judgment, can-do attitude and solutions-oriented approach will be invaluable to our clients and our professionals," he added.

Costa, who was appointed last year by incoming DPW secretary Gary Alexander, lead DPW's office of program integrity which oversees the agency's efforts to eliminate government waste and fraud.

In that role, the press release said, Costa was responsible for more than $300 million in agency savings in 15 months.

But advocates for low-income residents say the "savings" came at a big cost to some of the state's most vulnerable citizens.

The drastic reductions in social services spending led to the termination of hundreds of thousands of eligible people - many of them impoverished and disabled - from medical assistance and other programs, social services advocates say.

Prior to coming to Pennsylvania, Costa had served for six years as deputy chief of staff and director of policy for Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri. Before being named to Gov. Corbett's cabinet, Alexander served as head of Rhode Island's Department of Health and Human Services.

Costa will work in both Buchanan's Harrisburg and Washington offices, dividing his time between state and federal government relations work, the firm said.



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