Good afternoon, everyone. I’ve called this press conference to announce that I have accepted a resignation letter from Balmogor Pestilion, Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Recent news reports came to light over the past few days confirming that, during his brief tenure, Dread Lord Pestilion exercised poor judgment in his usage of taxpayer funds and blood tributes. Instead of directly benefiting the public, these offerings enriched Pestilion’s personal dark arts research and midnight occultations, facts reported by the Huffington Post after the majority of its staff disappeared into a Netherportal before reemerging as a blasphemous mutant legion loyal only to Mr. Pestilion. I know I’ve been hard on the media in the past, but I would like to take this time to thank the remaining three editorial assistants at the Huffington Post for reporting these developments. If you are listening from the black-site psychiatric containment ward, you have our gratitude.

I, like all of you, was unaware of Balmogor’s unsanctioned dealings in mystic perversities until this week. Earlier this year, I announced that I intended to nominate Pestilion to this position because of his outside-the-Beltway mentality, his previous — albeit unconventional — research experience, and the astral oath he supposedly swore to this administration. I was there when this oath ceremony took place, although I must confess that I’m not all that fluent in the Black Tongue, and therefore did not learn of the vow’s fine print requiring all private graveyards to become Balmogor’s personal property. What initially seemed to be a few minor instances of loved ones’ urns emanating a hellish shriek before bursting into putrid fog has obviously expanded to encompass a much wider array of profane issues. This, of course, culminated in this week’s revelation by the surviving staff at Huffington Post that Pestilion has been traveling by skeletal horse carriage to both governmental and private events, instead of using the standard flight vouchers issued by Spirit Airlines. As a side note: The airfare company was awarded a government contract well before Pestilion’s nomination, so, no pun intended there.

In any case, Balmogor has already agreed to return the disembodied taxpayer souls that propel his skeletal horse carriage to their rightful bodies. From what I have been told, this must take place under a harvest moon in order to avoid a Spiritual Scything — am I correct with the name there? Spiritual Scything? Good. — so there may be a delay in reimbursements. I am also informed that families should keep an eye on the husk bodies of affected friends and relatives, because until their souls are returned, they are susceptible to any residual spells that were cast in the interim between this apparent skeleton horse carriage affair and Balmagor’s resignation. The administration regrets this fact, but these are rules of necromancy, and honestly, there’s not much we can do when it comes to challenging it under constitutional law.

Again, I’d like to reiterate that I am sorry on behalf of this administration for the hasty nomination and confirmation process of Balmogor Pestilion. We were so concentrated on restoring this country to its former greatness that we failed to see the potential conflicts of interest in nominating someone who restores the dead to shadow-life for Secretary of Health and Human Services.

As I said when I first nominated him, Bal and I go very far back, farther than most can comprehend, and he’s a great guy. This was his first government position, and I think he handled it very well in these few months, all things considered. I wish Balmogor and his golem army at Mount Sinistral all the best with their future endeavors. He promised me that “we have not seen the last of him,” and I know he is a man of his word, so we’re all looking forward to what he has in store down the line.