Gov. Corbett stands by his man

Eli N. Avila, Gov. Corbett's secretary of health.

Gov. Corbett today stood up for his pick to lead the Department of Health, saying Secretary Eli N. Avila is doing a great job.

Corbett said that there are "obviously some people who don't like his personality," but "I'm not looking at personalities. I'm looking at work product."

"I think he [Avila] is doing a great job on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania," the governor said while fielding questions from reporters at an event earlier today in Lancaster.

Avila has grabbed headlines recently for his behavior around town. When he first came to Harrisburg from New York, he got into a dispute with a local diner owner over the freshness of the eggs in his egg sandwich. After exchanging words with the diner owner, Avila is alleged to have yelled: "Do you know who I am? I am the Secretary of Health!" He later sicced city health inspectors on the diner.

Avila has also raised more than a few eyebrows for ordering spanking-new jackets, as well as a badge, identifying himself as the Health Secretary. He also ordered jackets for his executive staff, at a cost of about $550 to taxpayers. He paid for the badge himself, but Corbett, clearly unpleased with the move, made Avila give it up.

Avila also got into a tussle a few months back with workers on a bloodmobile that had parked in his parking spot. Avila sent an aide down to make the bloodmobile move so that his car could go in its rightful spot.

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