SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary R. Herbert has appointed Gene Cottrell to serve as the inspector general of Medicaid services. Cottrell will replace Lee Wycoff to become Utah’s second Medicaid inspector.
“Gene is a hard worker and an admirable individual,” Herbert said. “He has done a wonderful job at the Utah Office of the Inspector General and I look forward to working with him as he continues to advocate on the behalf of taxpayers.”
As inspector general, Cottrell will identify fraud, waste and abuse within the Medicaid system, as well as recover inappropriately paid Medicaid funds. He will also provide strategic planning to ensure the integrity of the Utah Medicaid system.
“I take the responsibilities of public trust seriously and will continue to ensure taxpayers’ dollars are used in the most efficient manner,” Cottrell said. “I will continue to build strong ties within the provider community and other state and federal government agencies by fostering an environment that encourages open communication, cooperation and coordination.”
Under Cottrell’s direction as interim manager and chief of staff, the Utah Office of Inspector General recovered more than $11.5 million of taxpayer funds paid inappropriately in 2014.
Cottrell has been with the Utah OIG since 2012. He has worked as a chief of staff, program specialist and public information officer. He has held the position of interim manager since January 2015. Prior to joining the Utah OIG office, he was the rear detachment sergeant major for the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York.
He has received numerous awards, including the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal and the Achievement Coin, presented by the president of the United States.
Cottrell received a bachelor of science from Utah State University. He is currently pursuing a master of science in management and leadership from Western Governor’s University. Gene’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the Utah Senate.