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S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s scandal-scarred Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) doled out $54.5 million in “improper claims” last year according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL).

In fact over the last three years the agency has an improper payment rate of 14.7 percent – one of the highest in the nation. No wonder South Carolina’s unemployment insurance burden keeps growing for businesses and taxpayers alike.

“How can our employers keep footing the bill for this, it is their money remember!” S.C. Sen. Kevin Bryant (R-Anderson) wrote on his website. “How can our employers afford to hire more workers when dew keeps spending their money on fraudulent claims?”

SCDEW has been an unmitigated disaster under Haley. Last year the agency was the subject of a scathing audit by the S.C. Legislative Audit Council (SCLAC). It was also placed on alert by USDOL due to its “continuous failure to meet the minimum standard of performance” related to the distribution of unemployment benefits.

Who’s paying the price for its incompetence? We are.

Who’s taking responsibility? Not Haley – and certainly not retired general Abraham Turner, the agency’s embattled director.

Of course the bottom rungs on the totem pole are feeling the heat, as SCDEW shed 75 front-line workers last week on top of the 136 jobs it shed last October. Also earlier this week the agency announced it was shuttering seventeen offices. Of course while people working the front lines are getting axed, the agency’s upper management – led by Turner – continues to add staff and enjoy lavish taxpayer-funded retreats.

In fact while the latest layoffs and office closings were being announced, the agency’s senior management was once again enjoying the amenities at Kingston Plantation in Myrtle Beach, S.C. – on your dime.

It’s a great day to be a bureaucrat, people …

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