Sen. Vincent Sheheen, sole Democratic candidate for governor, has called for an investigation into “apparent abuse of power” by Gov. Nikki Haley, her staff and leadership at her Department of Social Services, based on their alleged attempts to confound a Senate investigation into preventable child abuse and deaths at that agency.
In a letter to S.C. Senate President Pro Tempore John Courson (R-Richland), Sheheen references DSS Director Lillian Koller’s refusal to testify before a Senate DSS oversight subcommittee, while citing doctor’s orders, until the subcommittee threatened to exercise its subpoena power; DSS’ delayed replies to requests for information that were “later revised or disputed” by Haley’s office; and numerous reports from DSS whistleblowers that agency management is discouraging cooperation with the senators’ investigation.
Additionally, Sheheen references an article in this week’s issue of Free Times: “Now, we saw a new report in the media this week about one of our own senators being called into the governor’s office in an effort to change her approach to the investigation.”
That article detailed a meeting in the conference room at Haley’s State House office between a member of the DSS oversight subcommittee, Sen. Katrina Shealy (R-Lexington), and two of Haley’s top staff members, in which the senator, a longtime Haley ally, reported being “scolded” for embarrassing the governor ahead of the November election in the course of the subcommittee’s hearings.
Shealy told Free Times she felt the two staffers were attempting to intimidate her in hopes that she might call off the subcommittee’s hearings.
"I told them that this didn’t have anything to do with my relationship with the governor or with the governor, period. This has to do with children, which is what I’ve said all along," she added.
Earlier this week, Sheheen joined his Democratic ally and DSS subcommittee member Sen. Joel Lourie in calling on Haley to fire Koller, citing last week’s death of a newborn in Richland County that local law enforcement officials say DSS should have prevented.
Meanwhile, the Haley administration has continually praised Koller and accused DSS’ critics of playing politics. Haley’s office has declined to respond to all Free Times’ repeated requests for comment on the scandal.
Courson, to whom Sheheen directed his investigation request, could not be reached immediately for comment on Thursday afternoon.
Back to School Tattoo Specials
Magnum Ink is offering 1/2 off all tattoos for students over 18 as well as 2 for $60 on letters or numbers for state employees. 1405 Rushmore Road, Suite B, right off of Broad River.
Not Your Typical Greek Restaurant
Ariana’s in West Columbia serves up delicious all-natural, low carb dishes, as well as homemade bread and baklava. Come try the best salad dressing in town! Location info and hours here.
Delicious Downtown Breakfast
Tony’s is open for breakfast every day from 7:30-10:30! Conveniently located on Washington St. right off Main. Stop in for something filling and delicious before work! Follow us for updates on specials.
A two-day outdoor art and crafts show celebrating its 38th year. Being held on September 5 & 6, 2014, Click for details
Accepting Applications for Shakespeare’s Kidz!
Students ages 10-16 are invited to join South Carolina Shakespeare’s new youth company, with classes running September 20th-December 11th followed by a final performance. Learn and hone audition skills, monologues, and scenes from Shakespeare and modern works! Contact Katie Mixon with questions about scholarships and applications: PKatieMixon@gmail.com.
Make Your Own Beer and Wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop: 736 St. Andrews Road.
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U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Pool Cleaning-Full and part time available. Must have a clean driving record, be organized and have a professional appearance. Starting Pay is $10.00 per hr, please call for an interview, please bring a copy of your Driving record and a list of all past employers with duration of employment listed as well as telephone numbers for references. Cal 803-865-1200
Company seeking carpenters, plumbers, masons work is year around with a 40 year old company. Starting pay is $10.00 but experienced individuals will be compensated accordingly. Must have a clean driving record and must bring a copy of your driving record to the interview. Please call 803-865-1200.
Real Estate Spotlight
Mungo Homes. Celebrating 60 years of our family building for your family. mungo.com