Gov. Corbett on Tuesday 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 were "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 Tuesday in Lancaster.
He did not elaborate.
Avila has grabbed headlines recently for his behavior around town.
When he first came to Harrisburg from New York earlier this year, 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 owner, Avila is alleged to have yelled: "Do you know who I am? I am the secretary of health!" He later had Harrisburg city health inspectors sent to the diner, prompting the diner owner to have his attorney write a letter to Corbett's office, demanding an apology. He never got one.
Avila also prompted a separate complaint from a state employee in May. A bloodmobile from the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank had apparently parked in his designated parking spot near the Capitol, and Avila sent an aide down to make the bloodmobile move. The employee, in her complaint, wrote that she was embarrassed by the episode.
The secretary has declined to comment on the incident.
Avila has also raised eyebrows by ordering spanking-new jackets, as well as a badge, that identify him as the health secretary and display the commonwealth seal. He also ordered jackets for his executive staff, at a cost of about $550 to taxpayers. He paid for the badge himself, but Corbett's office, displeased with the move, made Avila give it up.