Columbia, SC – The South Carolina Democratic Party released this statement from Chairman Jaime Harrison in response to Governor Haley’s appointment of her Chief of Staff Brian Stirling as the new head of the Department of Corrections:

“Governor Haley continued an alarming pattern today, once again appointing political staff to head a state agency where they have little experience or qualifications in the given field.”

“In previous administrations, South Carolina had leaders at the Department of Corrections like Ellis MacDougall and William Leeke, who made the position one of substance and expertise and took us out of the dark ages.  These leaders knew how to run prisons and deal with prisoners, but Mr. Stirling’s primary experience is in dealing with politics and politicians.”

“We’ve seen the pattern of incompetence and culture of secrecy that comes from having Governor Haley’s team of political appointees in cabinet and cabinet-level positions — it has not been good for the people of South Carolina. It’s time to return our state agencies to those with professional expertise in the field so that we can get the state back on track again. South Carolina needs a professional Corrections chief who knows the system and how to improve it, who participates in professional meetings with the American Correctional Association, and can deal with our over-crowding, mental health problems in prisons, as well as managing the prisoners and employees.”


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