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Haley’s Foundation Falsification

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We knew it …

S.C. Rep. Nikki Haley was effectively forced out of her high-paying job at Lexington Medical Foundation earlier this year – something that she and her campaign flat-out lied about.

According to emails published Friday by the Associated Press, Haley’s departure from her $110,000 a year job with Lexington Medical Foundation was far from amicable – and nothing like Haley described it in the press. In fact, it was downright hostile – with Haley bringing in an attorney to negotiate a settlement after she was on the verge of being put on leave for failing to show up for work.

“Despite my constant efforts to have Nikki come in over the past three days, she has failed to come in to meet with me,” Lexington Medical’s foundation director wrote to the CEO of the hospital in March of 2010, adding that Haley knew the meeting was to be about her job performance (or lack thereof). “To me, this exemplifies that (sic) fact that a leave of absence is warranted.”

According to the foundation director, Haley failed to show up at work for two consecutive weeks – prompting his request that she be placed on annual leave.

Haley wasn’t hearing it.

“I do not choose to take annual leave, nor do I consent to ‘being placed on annual leave,'” Haley fired back at the hospital.

Eventually, Haley referred the matter to an attorney and walked away with a $35,000 severance package and an agreement from the hospital not to do or say anything to embarrass her.

As The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper reported last month, Lexington Medical Center created the $110,000 a year job for Haley at the direct request of the hospital’s CEO, Mike Biedinger. This, of course, contradicts previous statements from the hospital claiming that Haley competed “fair and square” for the job and was chosen because of her “connections” and her background in accounting.

Prior to receiving the job, Haley had helped the hospital win approval for its bid to a new open heart surgery center.

When Haley “resigned” her position in April, our founding editor called her campaign manager Tim Pearson. He specifically asked Pearson about rumors he had been hearing to the effect that Haley had been forced out. Pearson assured us that the rumors were false, and said that Haley chose to leave the job so that she could focus her energy on her gubernatorial campaign. Pearson also praised Haley’s work at the foundation.

Still, we noted at the time that Haley’s excuse struck us as “a rather odd explanation considering that Haley has (already) been splitting her time … between campaigning and serving in the state legislature.”

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