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SCDSS Deputy Director Suspended




Embattled S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) deputy director Isabel Blanco has been suspended from her position with the agency after an “altercation” with a subordinate.

According to our sources at the agency, Blanco was suspended last Wednesday – although length of the suspension (and whether she’s still collecting her $123,600 a year salary) have yet to be disclosed.  A receptionist in SCDSS director Lillian Koller’s office confirmed the suspension this week – but shot down a rumor that Blanco had been forced to tender her resignation as a result of the incident.

“She is still employed by the agency,” the receptionist told us.

Details about the incident are sketchy but Blanco – a Chicago native who commutes to her Columbia, S.C. job from Atlanta, Georgia – reportedly had some sort of an altercation with a local official who questioned the agency’s alleged manipulation of public data.

Obviously if we learn anything else we’ll pass it along …

As we reported earlier this month, a pair of employees at the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services were arrested and charged with falsifying public documents and encouraging others to lie on sworn statements in an effort to keep federal funding flowing to the agency.  Why does this matter?  These Georgia workers are reportedly telling the U.S. Justice Department that they were “forced to follow these polices by Isabel Blanco,” who worked at the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services prior to being hired by Koller to come to South Carolina.

Sources tell FITS that federal investigators are currently investigating data being turned out in South Carolina under Koller and Blanco’s supervision – especially its food stamp and “welfare-to-work” data.

In fact a dispute over this data is what is alleged to have sparked the “altercation” that resulted in Blanco’s suspension.