Embattled Department of Social Services Director Lillian Koller resigned this morning.
"It has become more and more apparent to me during the past few weeks that my being the state director is causing a distraction and making it more difficult for DSS to continue the measurable improvements made to the agency during my tenure that have improved the lives of the citizens we serve," she wrote in a letter to Gov. Nikki Haley.
Koller came under fire for her focus on reducing the number of children in foster care at the agency, a policy some say contributed to the deaths of children who'd come into contact with DSS. Free Times detailed DSS's failing in a major story last October, and has continued to document the agency's high-profile troubles and Koller's testimony before legislators looking into her agency's failings.
Haley accepted the resignation, saying in a statement, "Lillian Koller is a dedicated public servant and child advocate, and a wonderful and loving mother — and I am so grateful for her service to South Carolina."
For months, Democrats have been calling for Koller to be fired, as did Republican Sen. Katrina Shealy, who serves on a committee tasked with DSS oversight; last week, Republican Sen. Pro Tem John Courson added his voice to Shealy's on the GOP side.
A Re-Imagined Christmas Carol at Trustus
Watch as five actors perform all the characters of Charles Dickens’ classic story and create a live musical score in a production that had audiences and critics raving last year. Get your tickets here!
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.
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
Now Hiring in the Vista!
Hickory Tavern is opening mid-December and looking for bartenders, servers, hosts and kitchen staff. Apply in person: Click for details!
Going someplace cool this weekend?
Let The Backpacker help you go lightweight, comfortable and in style! Patagonia, Prana, Merrell, The North Face and more! Click for location, hours and more info.
Surreal Innovation Salon Now Open
Columbia’s newest total care spa is now taking appointments and offering $10 off services $25 or more for first time clients. Location, hours, and more info here.
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Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season: