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Greenville, SC – Tom Ervin, Independent Republican candidate for governor, has faxed a letter to Gov. Haley today calling on Haley to replace her DSS Director immediately before more children are put in harms way due to the agency’s gross negligence in investigating and acting on child abuse and neglect cases.

“Another child has needlessly died under your watch. Sheriff Leon Lott and Coroner Gary Watts have confirmed that your agency waited seven weeks before contacting the medical professional who provided the tip to DSS that the now-dead 5 month old was in danger”, Ervin said. “That 49 day delay clearly contributed to this child’s tragic death.”

Sheriff Lott confirmed in his press conference yesterday that DSS never contacted the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office to ask for assistance to this child.

Cabinet appointee Lillian Koller at DSS admitted that her agency committed several violations of state law at a recent Senate Investigative Committee hearing. DSS has under-reported child fatality cases where children have some tie to DSS. Public records from SLED and the Child Advisory Committee established that the number of child fatalities reported by DSS were incorrect.

“These systematic failures continue to undermine public confidence in your ability to lead,” Ervin wrote to Haley.

“Elected officials from both parties have asked you repeatedly to take action. Your failure to act continues to put our most vulnerable children at great risk of harm and, in some tragic cases, death” Ervin wrote.

ERVIN LETTER (.doc)

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