Allison Barry – who was tapped two months ago to lead the state of South Carolina’s “agribusiness” efforts – is no longer with the S.C. Department of Commerce.
Whether Barry was fired or given the opportunity to resign from her post remains unclear, but sources tell FITS that the separation stems from our exclusive report last week about her controversial social media habits. Specifically, several state lawmakers were reportedly quite displeased that Barry had talked trash about one of the rural counties located in South Carolina’s “corridor of shame.”
“Worst cty visit ever & they wonder why they get no good biz/jobs,” Barry tweeted after a visit to Colleton County. Barry also made fun of a local clothing store that caters to African-Americans.
Barry deleted her offending Tweets – and later her entire Twitter account – shortly after our report was published, but the damage was done.
According to our sources at Commerce, Barry was given an opportunity to address the issue “constructively” during a meeting with her supervisors last Friday – but chose not to do so.
“When she was confronted, she tried to say it was an inside joke,” one source says, adding that Barry “didn’t apologize or act like it was a big deal.”
So … should she have been fired?
Well, we don’t believe the state should have any role whatsoever in picking winners and losers in the economy – to say nothing of running an “agribusiness” enterprise – so this was a position that we don’t believe shouldn’t have even existed in the first place (at least not as a taxpayer-funded job).
Of course this state funds dancing vegetables as part of its “agribusiness” push … so there’s that.
Anyway, Barry’s scandal is clearly small (homegrown) potatoes compared to the medical records scandal that rocked Commerce earlier this year.