Governor McCrory Makes Two Cabinet-Level Appointments
Governor Pat McCrory announced two cabinet-level personnel changes today.
At an Executive Mansion ceremony, Governor McCrory announced the appointment of Jeff Epstein as North Carolina’s Secretary of Revenue to replace Lyons Gray, who the governor had appointed to serve on the North Carolina Utilities Commission. Gray's immediate move to the North Carolina Utilities Commission is an interim appointment to replace Susan Rabon who resigned effective January 1. The governor also named Industrial Commission Chairman Andrew (Drew) Heath to succeed outgoing Budget Director Lee Roberts who is returning to the private sector.
“Jeff Epstein and Drew Heath will continue the high standards of excellence and leadership that have been set by their predecessors,” Governor McCrory said. “Lyons Gray will bring his considerable experience and common sense wisdom to the utilities commission, a regulatory body that affects nearly every North Carolina citizen. Lee Roberts will be helping to create jobs and invest in our state as he builds a new investment management business. I’m grateful for the service of these fine individuals.”
Customer service was greatly upgraded under Secretary Gray’s tenure. A second taxpayer assistance call center was opened in Guilford County. The agency expanded electronic filing for many taxpayers. Gray, who was appointed in January 2013, also led efforts that have reduced fraudulent tax returns and bolstered the agency’s audit division.
Under the governor’s and Roberts’ leadership, North Carolina ended the previous fiscal year with a $445 million budget surplus. Roberts has spearheaded the governor’s $2 billion Connect NC bond proposal, which will go before the voters in March. Roberts, who was appointed in August 2014, also has driven Project Phoenix, Governor McCrory’s plans to better utilize government facilities across the state, and directed the NC GEAR effort, which led to a series of restructuring and reform initiatives. Roberts was also instrumental in finalizing the sale of the Dix property.
Epstein has served as Chief Operating Officer at the Department of Revenue since April 2013. In the Fall of 2013 Governor McCrory appointed Epstein as Acting Secretary while Gray was on medical leave.
After graduating from The American University with a B.S. in Finance, Epstein served in the Reagan White House before moving to his current hometown of Charlotte. There Epstein had an extensive career in business and real estate and held numerous community service roles.
Heath was appointed by Governor McCrory to be Chairman of the North Carolina Industrial Commission in 2013. At the industrial commission, Heath implemented Governor McCrory's directive to form the Employee Classification Section to combat employee misclassification abuse. Heath also oversaw an employer compliance program, established to ensure that North Carolina workers are insured for on-the-job injuries. The program has increased the number of businesses in compliance and increased penalties assessed and collected from non-compliant businesses.
An attorney, Heath graduated with a B.S. in Management from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. While attending the Robert H. McKinney School of Law at Indiana University, Heath served as a legal intern in Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels' Office of the General Counsel. He also served on the Board of Directors of the New Hanover County Bar Association.