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.
The Other Place at Trustus Theatre
Juliana Smithton is a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. A mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth of Juliana’s mental health boils to the surface in The Other Place, running at Trustus Theatre October 17th through November 1st. There will be a talk-back following the matinee on October 19th. Tickets can be purchased here or by calling the box office at 803-254-9732.
$10 Spa Specials!
Join us for 60-minute facials, microdermabrasion, bikini waxing, and more for only $10! 823 Gervais Street, Suite 120. Text your appointment request to 803-468-4643.
3LAU on Sunday, October 26th and the Unofficial Skrillex Mothership Tour After-Party on the 27th. More information and tickets for both can be found here. VIP tables available.
Veteran Vapors now open!
Veteran-owned and operated, Veteran Vapors is located at 2308 Airport Blvd. in West Columbia. This month, 10% of all juice sales will be donated to Save the Ta-Tas. Special discounts available to veterans, military and public safety officials.
King Lear in Finlay Park
October 16th-18th and 22nd-25th, the South Carolina Shakespeare Company presents William Shakespeare’s King Lear. All performances held at the Finlay Park Ampitheatre at 7:30 PM. For tickets and more information, click here or call 803-665-2000.
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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
Local business is searching for new associates who are looking for a fun environment to earn great wages. Great position for college students/recent graduates. Must be well-mannered with excellent customer service skills/work ethic/ability to lift heavy items/must have valid Driver’s License. Call 803-376-4884 or email resume: firstname.lastname@example.org.