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Back when South Carolina taxpayers were providing her with a state-owned Dodge Durango to travel back and forth from Mount Pleasant to Columbia, S.C. a few times each week, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s director of the Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation (SCLLR) was still little more than a “part-time” employee.

So … what’s happened since July? You know, when Templeton decided to give up her government-issued SUV thanks to a new budget proviso that would have required her to pay for travel expenses?

According to our sources, Templeton’s job status has gone from “part-time” to “nonexistent.”

“Catherine Templeton had not been in the SCLLR office for more than an hour or so per week, if that, since she gave up her state vehicle,” an anonymous source informed us this week. “(She) has not been in at all for the last three weeks.”

FITS quickly contacted several of our moles at the agency … each of whom confirmed that they had not seen Templeton in the office at any point over the last month.

(To read our coverage of “Durango-gate,” click here. For Templeton’s fuel logs, click here).

Like the governor’s office, SCLLR has a policy of refusing to respond to media requests from this website. Templeton, specifically, has been provided by FITS with numerous opportunities to address her critics – but has refused to do so each time.

Why does any of this matter?

Well, Templeton was grilled during her confirmation hearing back in January after it was revealed that she planned on working in her Columbia office just three days a week. At the time, she committed to working five days a week – saying that she would commute from her home in Charleston, S.C.

Apparently, she has stopped doing that since the taxpayers are no longer picking up the tab for her travel.

Templeton makes $116,797 a year, not counting her generous state benefits package. She’s also been busy expanding the agency’s bureaucracy with inexperienced political appointments.

So … is SCLLR managing without any adult supervision?

Back in September, FITS reported exclusively that two agency employees were fired from their jobs after GPS tracking devices installed on their vehicles revealed minor deviations from their assigned routes. One of those employees has since alleged a racial motivation for his firing – while another employee who was recently terminated from the agency suggested that Templeton is firing employees based on their allegiance to Haley.

In July, a legislative audit blasted Templeton’s agency for its laziness in responding to licensing inquires. According to that report, LLR’s licensing division failed to answer a whopping 27 percent of the phone calls it received – while staff at the agency “spent an average of 36 percent of their time on calls or after call work when 70 percent is a reasonable expectation.”

Guess that’s what happens when nobody’s minding the store …

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