RALEIGH, N.C. -- An anti-abortion activist has been hired as a senior policy adviser at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the latest in a string of politically charged hiring decisions made at the embattled state agency.
Margaret "Mardy" Peal began work last month at an annual salary of $95,000.
Records show Peal recently served on the board of the anti-abortion Carolina Pregnancy Center, a group that emphasizes Christian scripture and encourages abstinence. She was also an early organizer for the conservative Eastern North Carolina Tea Party and gave $1,250 to the 2012 campaign of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.
The 42-year-old Peal holds a master's degree in health education from East Carolina University, where she worked as a lecturer for three years in the 1990s before becoming a stay-at-home mom.