S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s office obtained and provided a high-ranking economic development employee’s confidential medical records to the S.C. Department of Commerce at the request of the agency – information which was later used as justification for the employee’s termination.
Who says so?
The woman who provided the records to the governor’s office … and one of our sources inside Haley’s administration.
It’s the latest revelation in the “Sex, Drugs and Economic Development” drama – the most recent taxpayer-funded soap opera to hit Haley’s cabinet.
Both the governor’s office and Commerce have refused to respond to our inquiries – although we have submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to both offices seeking documents related to the scandal.
According to our sources, the employee’s medical records were requested by an attorney at the agency who wanted proof of prior allegations leveled by the employee’s ex-wife – who worked with Haley attorney Swati Patel in former Gov. Mark Sanford’s administration.
In fact, we’re told that this attorney is being fitted for the role of “scapegoat.”
On orders from Haley’s chief of staff Tim Pearson, the employee – who worked in a top economic recruitment position overseas – was fired by Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt prior to Thanksgiving. Hitt objected to the firing – not only because he reportedly believed it to be unjustified, but also because the employee’s contract with the state was set to expire at the end of the year.
Hitt is said to have asked to speak to Haley directly regarding the matter – but was rebuffed by Pearson, who told him that he spoke for the governor regarding the firing.
In addition to allegations of drug use, the former employee has been accused of stealing money from Commerce and hiring his 22-year-old paramour – information which his ex-wife maintains is included in a report prepared by Haley’s most recent Inspector General.
In fact, she maintains that it was the improper use of public funds – not the information contained in the medical reports – that led to his firing.
FITS requested a copy of the Inspector General’s report earlier this week but so far the “transparent” Haley administration has yet to provide it.
Obviously we will provide our readers with a copy of the report as soon as it is released …