Gov. Deval Patrick says state Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby continues to have his support.

Republicans in the state Legislature sent a letter to Patrick on Thursday asking that Bigby be removed from her post if she does not resign.

The GOP cited ``poor management'' by Bigby in the aftermath of two recent crises: The alleged tampering with drug tests at a former Department of Public Health lab, and a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to a Framingham compounding pharmacy that was regulated by the state.

Minority leader Brad Jones said at a news conference on Thursday that the agency desperately needs new leadership.

But a spokeswoman for Patrick said in a statement that the governor has confidence in Bigby's ability to fix what went wrong and restore public confidence in the department.  (Associated Press)