SC

Discriminatory Hiring Alleged At SCDPPPS

AGENCY HEAD’S COMPETENCE QUESTIONED AFTER BOTCHED RICHLAND COUNTY PROMOTION Remember Kela Thomas?  She’s the member of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s cabinet who was no doubt popping an expensive bottle of bubbly earlier this month when U.S. President Barack Obama won a second term. She’s also the member of Haley’s cabinet…

AGENCY HEAD’S COMPETENCE QUESTIONED AFTER BOTCHED RICHLAND COUNTY PROMOTION

Remember Kela Thomas?  She’s the member of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s cabinet who was no doubt popping an expensive bottle of bubbly earlier this month when U.S. President Barack Obama won a second term.

She’s also the member of Haley’s cabinet who is dead set against implementing the governor’s proposed restructuring plans.

Thomas leads the S.C. Department of Probation Parole and Pardon Services (SCDPPPS), which received $52.1 million in the Palmetto State’s record-setting $23.3 billion budget this year.  In that capacity, she has aggressively fought against Haley’s proposed consolidation of her sprawling bureaucracy (which has offices in all forty-six counties) with the S.C. Department of Corrections.

Why?  Because Thomas makes $92,917 a year (not counting benefits) to run SCDPPPS.  In fact she was one of several agency heads to receive a seven percent raise last week.

In addition to her opposition to Haley’s proposed consolidation (which we support), Thomas has also engaged in some questionable hiring practices – including her recent selection of an assistant agent-in-charge for her agency’s Richland County office.

Despite receiving resumes from several more qualified applicants, Thomas insisted on promoting a “gentleman” by the name of Nijoku Odom to the post.  In fact according to our sources, Thomas was grooming Odom to be the agent-in-charge of the biggest county probation offices in the state.

Thomas’ favoritism on Odom’s behalf struck many at the agency as odd.  And not just because of the qualifications of the individuals passed over for this post – but because of widely discussed allegations that Odom had previously engaged in inappropriate relationships with some of his female probationers.

According to our sources at SCDPPPS, Odom resigned his post earlier this month – although it remains to be seen whether his resignation was linked to the sexual allegations against him.

One thing we do know is that Thomas is developing a reputation for advancing certain employees based on factors that have nothing to do with their job performance.

“Her disregard for proper state hiring practices (is) not isolated to Richland County,” one source at the agency tells FITS.  “Another prime example is York County, where she forced upper management to promote a lower rated candidate to agent in charge.  Just par for the course for a woman who demands to see a photo of an applicant before she will approve a hiring decision.”

***

Related posts

SC

Hampton County Financial Mismanagement Prompts Investigations, Allegations

Callie Lyons
SC

South Carolina Beach Water Monitoring Set To Begin …

FITSNews
SC

Former TV Anchor, ‘Friends Of The Hunley’ Leader Popped For DUI

Will Folks

46 comments

Smirks November 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm

One thing we do know is that Thomas is developing a reputation for advancing certain employees based on factors that have nothing to do with their job performance.

Par for the course here in SC.

Reply
Tired of BS November 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Someone needs to look at the Lt. Gov’s Office on Aging recent promotions. McConnell is not looking at the whole picture or is fed just what he wants to hear. There is favoritism for one person that is mind boggling!

Reply
stop being a hater November 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Stop trying to mess up people’s life do you know what you are doing. Just because she fired you or not that does not mean that you have to be mean. maybe she fired you for a good reason because you sure as H*** do not sound like the best person for the job you sound like a A** hole you here maybe you should look in the mirror and hope it does not crack. Go some were and shut up and pray for what you have done.

Reply
No Joke November 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Nijoku?

Reply
jimlewis,owb November 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm

His cousin, Ufku works over in Lexington County

When he sent in his promotional photo he had the top and bottom cropped out

Reply
? November 19, 2012 at 2:28 pm

LMAO! Was he hired because of or in spite of his photo Jim?

Reply
Clint November 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm

TNM

Reply
Brigid November 19, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Sounds like she is a racist who hates white people, and only a massive employment discrimination lawsuit against the state of SC will pry her fat ass off her government funded chair. Seems like all of haley’s agency heads are crooked, incompetent, unqualified, or just plain dumb. And no matter what goes on, these agency appointments will be what makes or breaks her.

Reply
stop being a hater November 21, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Look you dumb ass i am tired for you F****** people you thing just talk about people because she is black you have not updated your history the times of segregation are over bubu so take you fat ass and go sit down and stop crying over you loss of fried food because we all know that mommy and daddy prayed for you because right now you are doing the devils work.

Reply
Roseanne November 19, 2012 at 3:28 pm

What does Obama have to do with it?

Reply
The Colonel November 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm

It’s a handy photo to make Kela look bad. She was at a fund raiser and had her photo taken with the President – her husband jumped n at the last second. She didn’t contribute enough to get a photo as part of the deal but hooked one anyway.

She’s closer to an I than a D.

Her problem with the Gubernor’s plan is that it shifts all of the work load to Pardons and Parole and doesn’t shift any funding or staff.

Reply
SCBlues November 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Of course President Obama has nothing to do with “it” – but FITS has no shame and will stoop to the lowest level known to mankind to try and tarnish the reputation of President Obama.

(And besides, the more “black folk” that he can get in the photo the more riled up the Baggers and Birthers around here will be!)

Reply
scsince60 November 19, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Lawdy!, we sho is rich now!

Reply
interested November 19, 2012 at 4:50 pm

All of you folks taking pot shots at FITS for using the photo – what do you have to say about the whole point of this article? Or did you even get the point?

Reply
The Colonel November 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Read my reply – I’ve talked with her about her opposition to Haley’s plan and I think she’s right. She would like to consolidate the organizations but she needs more resources than the Governor was willing to pony up.

Reply
joe blow November 19, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Fits news i’m going stay away from the obvious and talked about how this type of behavior been going on in all state agencies for the longest. And tell the jolted state employee that didn’t get the job some people been going throw the same mess for the longest. I guess its easy to point the finger at Mrs Thomas when this the same state that wanted to secede from the 50 states. When we had a Democratic president in 1992 to 2000 but nobody talked about leaving then. THE OBVIOUS! Tell the coward male or female that’s ur inside source to stand up and put there name out there.

Reply
marty November 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Tell em louder Joe Blow.

Reply
Anonymous_2 November 20, 2012 at 1:00 am

Race wasn’t a factor as there wasn’t a White House sponsored petition website during the previous administrations that I’m aware of (particularly in the dial-up mid-1990’s). Also, you don’t have to be from the state to sign the petition, less than half are actually from SC. The media is simply running with a sensationalized non-story. There was also a petition signed by thousands of people to deport the people who signed the first petitions, just as silly and just as worthless of a story.

Reply
Mike Wagner November 20, 2012 at 9:15 am

Joe Blow – based on the grammar in your post I’m guessing you’re one of the individuals who got improperly promoted. And the reason it is easy to point the finger at Thomas is because of her own behavior. Besides four or five loyal people in her inner circle who were bought with raises or promotions(several of whom were probably told to post the later comments defending her), just about everyone at the Agency would tell you she is a terrible manager, and a genuinely mean and spiteful person. Or at least that’s what they would say if they weren’t scared because of being regularly threatened with termination if they dare to question her decisions or leadership.

Reply
Keiser Soze November 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Fire her ass!!!! If this would have been reversed white promoting white they would be beaten up by the media.

Reply
stop being a hatter November 21, 2012 at 10:32 pm

You should be ashamed of your self she is just a lady trying to make a living you guys are just being mean and hateful you know how i know because i know this lady she is my mom and i am a child and for you to say this about my mom is crazy. You should go back to the 1st grade and learn some manners.

Reply
Arnold Scha November 19, 2012 at 6:52 pm

This article is full of it Mrs. Thomas has promoted several white people as well as blacks. Besides she doesn’t pick the candidates she signs off on the final decision made by upper management. You should know the choices that this man was against. Besides they are more likely to promote with in the county if the the person is qualified. Richland County is a very hard county and you have to being willing to deal with all the criminals that come in there. Discrediting Mrs. Thomas has nothing to do with the assistant agent in charge resignation. She is a very fair woman and a great director. You can hold someone for allegations, had he been found guilty of the allegations he would have never been appointed assistant agent-in-charge.
As for the allegations against Mr. Odom they are simply that until proven guilty. Get some real news.

Reply
Rhonda Kennerly November 20, 2012 at 9:41 am

Wow – “a fair woman and a great director”? That must be some strong kool-ade you’ve been drinking. Thomas is neither. The person you describe wouldn’t need to rule with an iron fist because she could develop staff loyalty, enthusiasm for new programs, and hard working, vested employees simply through leading by example. It has nothing to do with race and everything to do with narcissism, power, and getting control of as much money as possible (even though none of that money seems to make it to the probation agents who have been busting their tails year in and year out to make the agency function). And if you think she doesn’t have the ultimate say over who is “the final decision made by upper management”, you clearly have no clue.

Reply
RustyNail November 19, 2012 at 8:01 pm

She used to be a fund raiser for the USC School of Public Health. How did she get from that to heading the Dept. of Probation and Parole ?

Reply
stop being a hatter November 21, 2012 at 10:33 pm

because she is apart of the alumni retard

Reply
joe blow November 19, 2012 at 8:51 pm

@Keiser Sore are you serious i’m white and know that statement you made is bologna! Wake the f up. Its wasn’t the called the Good Ol Boy System for nothing.

Reply
Outraged November 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm

You people need to get a life. Kela Thomas is doing a great job. An African-American woman at such a high ranking will always be a target in this racist state. And you should be ashamed of your self for such allegations and passing judgement.

Reply
Ben Sanders November 20, 2012 at 9:53 am

I have no doubt there are, and will continue to be, some high ranking African-Americans unfairly targeted for criticism. But that does not give those officials a free pass to do things that are equally offensive or discriminatory. As for passing judgment, that can wait for the EEOC, or the Legislative Audit Council, or whatever other organizations are best suited to look into the decisions that were made by Thomas during her reign.

Reply
Don't worry about it November 20, 2012 at 8:21 am

This article makes it sound as though allegations were made in the past. Also, it fails to highlight that Mr. Odom was a motivated guy that was actually rallying the troops in the stale environment at the Richland county probation office. There were better qualified candidates experience-wise but there were not many good candidates vision-wise. The Department of Probation is attempting to implement lots of new strategies when it comes to offender supervision. What Mr. Odom possessed the motivation to do it and was likable enough to get other people to jump in with him. Of course if the sexual allegations are true, then he had to go, but the Department made a good call in trying to promote someone with Mr. Odom’s qualities.

Reply
billybob November 20, 2012 at 9:37 am

Didn’t he used to be a kicker for Clemson?

Reply
Tank Black November 20, 2012 at 10:01 am

You people need to leave Ms. Evans-Thomas, her brother Brantly, SC State, Victory Savings Bank, and the rest of her family alone! It makes me mad to hear people say she could be involved in something unethical. I can’t believe that anyone in the Evans family would ever do something wrong. So back off!

Reply
stop being a hatter November 21, 2012 at 10:34 pm

thank you that is my mom

Reply
Common Sense November 21, 2012 at 7:02 am

Her salary is nothing for a agency head compared to what people are paid in the personnel office at the great USC. How bout $200,000; or $110,000 or more. She Tracks bad people like sexual predators that served time but can lapse and grab your daughters or sisters or mothers. These other folk are admin beauracrats that at worse can forget to cross a “T” or dot a “I”.

Reply
Mike Wagner November 21, 2012 at 11:25 am

Ahhh, another plant from the Director. Her salary is still about $92,000 higher than it should be. And it is the agents who do the tracking of the bad guys. Thomas only tracks the amount of money she can collect and spend.

Reply
Common Sense November 21, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Never met the lady. Just using common sense in understanding the overall mission of the agency. Oh and the raise was given to all agency heads except maybe a few.

Reply
stop being a hater November 21, 2012 at 10:47 pm

does it matter the salary?

Reply
27 - 17 November 25, 2012 at 10:35 am

Thomas’ husband owns the Black News and the Black Pages which only promotes and advertises black owned services..it would pretty much stand to reason that she’s going to promote blacks to desirable positions. I don’t understand how she can be a cabinet member and still support separatist and racist propaganda

Reply
Lisa November 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Interviews are done by a panel of employees. Kela Thomas is not involved in the interviews. Each applicant is scored based on the interview, work history, experience on the job, etc. The WHITE director of field operations makes the recommendations to the director on who he wants to hire in AIC and Asst. AIC positions. The persons hired obviously scored higher than others.
So, based on the backward logic I have read, just because she is a black person and promoted two black people, she’s a racist??? Then I guess all the white people promoting other white people all throughout the history of state government are racists as well???? For the record, several white people have been promoted since she became director…a lot more whites than blacks.

Give me a break!

Reply
stop being a hatter November 28, 2012 at 10:20 am

Lisa – take a minute to pull your head out of your ass and see if you can find a clue. Thomas hires who she wants, period. Any interview panels, applicant scores, and “recommendations” made by her lap-dog Deputies are a sham geared towards getting the pre-determined result. She orders her at-will Deputies to recommend the applicants she has already selected. As for promotions – of course she isn’t dumb enough not to try and make promotions appear balanced (although someone who has 300k stolen from under her nose must not be all that smart). But if you look at her track record with white women, it speaks for itself.

Reply
Undercover December 12, 2012 at 10:02 pm

I know both candidates and the “matrix” that selected them. The matrix says, “sorry we have to get more blacks in leadership roles” . This came directly from Thomas. Haley needs to fire her now before she does any more damage to the department. Many of her “appointed ones” will fail on their own soon enough.

Reply
Legal Researcher April 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm

In response to “Mike Wagner”’ Nov. 20, 2012, it appears by your great insults of Mrs. Thomas, as being an alleged “…Terrible Manager….” would have a great negative affect! on GOVERNOR HALEY’s Abilities/as also! having POOR Managment -to be a GOVERNOR who Did NOT first Examined ANY of her APPOINTED Officials before she Appointed them to their said Offices, such as Mrs. Thomas, whom you say “…EVERYONE at the AGENCY WOULD TELL YOU she is a Terrible Manager…”. So what does that tell you about South Carolina’s actual GOVERNOR Haley, who APPOINTED Mrs. Thomas, for her great! abilities! to management, which would also mean! Mrs. Thomas may having to DISAGREE with some of the actual findings of Governor Haley’s said alleged Plan(s), in which some of you claims Mrs. Thomas Disagreed.

Reply
Legal Researcher April 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm

In response to “Mike Wagner”’ Nov. 20, 2012, it appears by your great insults of Mrs. Thomas, as being an alleged “…Terrible Manager….” would have a great negative affect! on GOVERNOR HALEY’s Abilities/as also! having POOR Managment -to be a GOVERNOR who Did NOT first Examined ANY of her APPOINTED Officials before she Appointed them to their said Offices, such as Mrs. Thomas, whom you say “…EVERYONE at the AGENCY WOULD TELL YOU she is a Terrible Manager…”. So what does that tell you about South Carolina’s actual GOVERNOR Haley, who APPOINTED Mrs. Thomas, for her great! abilities! to management, which would also mean! Mrs. Thomas may having to DISAGREE with some of the actual findings of Governor Haley’s said alleged Plan(s), in which some of you claims Mrs. Thomas Disagreed.

Reply
Legal Researcher April 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Response to “Undercover” entered “December 13, 2012” – and 27 – 17 entered “November 25, 2012”; again! you must relies that your Elected South Carolina’s GOVERNOR Haley always knew that Mrs. Thomas was a great leader among her African/Black Race of People, as well as her husband – who is also! a African/Black Race individual, allegedly owns his own alleged “News Paper” which in natural! that it supports its own race of people, as well as any other NEWS worthy news reporting, just! as any White Race owned News Paper Business, or any other race of people who may be blessed to own their own news paper business.
Therefore are you saying the Elected South Carolina’s GOVERNOR Haley may possibly a Racist Individual – as to WHY she actually appointed Mrs. Thomas – only! because she was of the Black Race…and was not appointed because of her actual abilities. As you are aware Mrs. Thomas served as a said “DIRECTOR” within! her prior job position, before Governor Haley personally! appointed Mrs. Thomas to the said SCDPPPS job position,

Reply
Legal Researcher April 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Response to “Undercover” entered “December 13, 2012” – and 27 – 17 entered “November 25, 2012”; again! you must relies that your Elected South Carolina’s GOVERNOR Haley always knew that Mrs. Thomas was a great leader among her African/Black Race of People, as well as her husband – who is also! a African/Black Race individual, allegedly owns his own alleged “News Paper” which in natural! that it supports its own race of people, as well as any other NEWS worthy news reporting, just! as any White Race owned News Paper Business, or any other race of people who may be blessed to own their own news paper business.
Therefore are you saying the Elected South Carolina’s GOVERNOR Haley may possibly a Racist Individual – as to WHY she actually appointed Mrs. Thomas – only! because she was of the Black Race…and was not appointed because of her actual abilities. As you are aware Mrs. Thomas served as a said “DIRECTOR” within! her prior job position, before Governor Haley personally! appointed Mrs. Thomas to the said SCDPPPS job position,

Reply
Legal Researcher April 5, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Response to “Don’t Worry About It” entered “November 20, 2012”, regarding the possible Slanderous Claims and Allegations made regarding Mr. Odom’s Qualification was Qualified, but! that Mr. Odom Must Go IF he was possibly involved with the “Sexual Allegations”. Again! each of you should know, (if you REMEMBER) YOUR Elected now! twice! GOVERNOR Haley – was also! involved in SEXUAL Allegation Claims before! just! before she was ELECTED as GOVERNOR of South Carolina. But! the said allegations!! did not STOP any of you actually reelected her back to her now held Governor’s position.

Each of you should Remember, that you now has an Elected Governor (Ms. Nikki Haley) in this year 2013, that can not throw to many stones regarding any person’s personal life experiences…according to WHAT the prior MEDIA put her through, and guess what? — Governor Haley survived; Therefore, each and all the said below individuals statements should be careful as to what they are attempting to write about Mrs. Thomas or Mr. Odom- who allegedly felt that he needed to give up his blessed appointed job position – provided by Mrs. Thomas.

Reply
Legal Researcher April 5, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Response to “Don’t Worry About It” entered “November 20, 2012”, regarding the possible Slanderous Claims and Allegations made regarding Mr. Odom’s Qualification was Qualified, but! that Mr. Odom Must Go IF he was possibly involved with the “Sexual Allegations”. Again! each of you should know, (if you REMEMBER) YOUR Elected now! twice! GOVERNOR Haley – was also! involved in SEXUAL Allegation Claims before! just! before she was ELECTED as GOVERNOR of South Carolina. But! the said allegations!! did not STOP any of you actually reelected her back to her now held Governor’s position.

Each of you should Remember, that you now has an Elected Governor (Ms. Nikki Haley) in this year 2013, that can not throw to many stones regarding any person’s personal life experiences…according to WHAT the prior MEDIA put her through, and guess what? — Governor Haley survived; Therefore, each and all the said below individuals statements should be careful as to what they are attempting to write about Mrs. Thomas or Mr. Odom- who allegedly felt that he needed to give up his blessed appointed job position – provided by Mrs. Thomas.

Reply

Leave a Comment