SC

Another SCDEW Resignation

THEY’RE DROPPING LIKE FLIES AT SOUTH CAROLINA’S MOST INCOMPETENT BUREAUCRACY For the third time this year, a top bureaucrat at S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s embattled “workforce” agency has resigned abruptly. Laura Robinson, an assistant executive director at the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW), stepped down from her post…

THEY’RE DROPPING LIKE FLIES AT SOUTH CAROLINA’S MOST INCOMPETENT BUREAUCRACY

For the third time this year, a top bureaucrat at S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s embattled “workforce” agency has resigned abruptly.

Laura Robinson, an assistant executive director at the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW), stepped down from her post late Friday.  Robinson’s resignation came one week after FITS exclusively reported that an error in assessing unemployment insurance rates would cost South Carolina businesses an additional $9 million this coming year (over and above existing unemployment insurance costs – which were supposed to be provided to Palmetto State businesses months ago).

Robinson is in charge of managing unemployment insurance decisions at the agency – which has been one of the most poorly managed agencies in state government since Haley appointed retired Army General Abraham Turner to run it last September.

According to our sources within Haley’s administration, Robinson “resigned Friday effective immediately.”

“This is sudden and details are sketchy,” our source added.

Robinson sent SCDEW employees an email after 5:00 p.m. on Friday informing them of her resignation and thanking them for their service.  She made $108,538 annually (not counting benefits) – but was only at the agency for approximately nine months.

Here’s Robinson’s bio …

So … what prompted her resignation?  The problems with the state’s unemployment insurance system?  Or something else?

In April another top SCDEW staffer, Nicholas Anderson, resigned his post abruptly after just six months at the agency.

Anderson’s resignation came as FITS was following up on a scathing audit of the agency with an exclusive new report highlighting additional waste and duplication.

Meanwhile another top staffer at the agency, David Salley, was fired over the summer -allegedly for refusing to approve an improper disbursement of unemployment benefits to a politically connected recipient.

SCDEW has been one disaster after another since Haley took office.  According to federal statistics, one out of every five dollars in unemployment benefits doled out by the agency is awarded erroneously – the eighth-highest percentage in the nation.  Not only that, South Carolinians who use the agency’s reemployment services take an average of 26.5 weeks to get off of the public dole.  Those who do not use SCDEW took only 22.3 weeks to find gainful employment.

How have the agency’s leaders gone about “addressing” these issues?  With taxpayer-funded golf … and sunshine.  Hell … they took another glorified vacation over the long Thanksgiving weekend.

The cost of this incompetence has been astronomical.

South Carolina’s unemployment insurance fund once had a balance of $800 million.  After being exhausted in December 2008, however, the fund proceeded to accumulate a $933 million debt.  Most of this debt is being repaid in the form of tax hikes on businesses, although Haley and the “Republican-controlled” S.C. General Assembly decided last year to shift $146 million of this burden directly onto the backs of individual taxpayers.

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22 comments

Uncle Remus December 3, 2012 at 8:26 am

These guys keep falling like shoo-shoo flies. Where there are flies there is often shoo-shoo.

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bill struck December 3, 2012 at 9:14 am

Maybe after all the flies are swatted, the real source of the problem will be flushed. Eerybody’s aiming one notch below the real problem. (an analogy anyone with army experience can understand, even the retired!)

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Dave December 3, 2012 at 9:16 am

i dont believe they are aiming one notch below the problem, everything below the problem are there to protect the problem. they resign so the public believes the real problem isnt the problem.

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@BozMartin December 3, 2012 at 10:50 am

What’s really disgusting is the people who keep doing snu-snu in all that shoo-shoo.

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Recovering Lobbyist December 3, 2012 at 8:58 am

One has to ask whether a person who has been on the job less than a year should be held responsible for an error like that. That agency has been a mess for as long as I have been an employer. It is cultural. At some point you have to run out of scapegoats. When do we start looking at top management? Cue FITS to blame it all on the Governor (who has had charge of the agency for less than two years). I do think the Governor needs to rethink her choice for the head of that agency.

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Dave December 3, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I would say yes, they should be held responsible. one of the issues with dew is that they get rid of people so fast they dont have anyone with the proper experience to do the job. if robinson resigned because of the error that was made, why isnt turner resigning? isn’t he the ultimate person of accountability in that agency? it seems odd all these people are being forced to resign yet he continues to remain in charge. in charge without accountability. robinson was there about nine months, turners been there just over a year. if she was accountable enough to take the fall, why shouldn’t he be more accountable? and the gov’ner is the one letting all of this continue so she should be held accountable for the entire mess. they will never run out of scapegoats, they keep hiring more.

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Dave December 3, 2012 at 9:14 am

when you have so many upper management staff that are not qualified to do the job they have been hired to do, how can it be a surprise when they suddenly are asked to resign? its an agency of incompetent management and inept leadership.

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bill struck December 3, 2012 at 9:33 am

It may well be that those who are leaving CAN do their job and are threatening to those who only seek political posturing.

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jimlewis,owb December 3, 2012 at 9:17 am

Given the Gypsy Queen Governor’s logic that the head of the snake is not responsible for what it kills, there is no doubt that the Military Junta of Retired Camouflaged Cockroaches will remain in power.

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Mary December 3, 2012 at 10:30 am

When you hire people with no experience it shows doesn’t it? Laura Robinson was not liked and failed to understand the law which causes debacles like what happened. As far as David Salley goes, there is a lot more to the story than what you are reporting so my sources in the agency tell me. A lot more.

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honeydo December 3, 2012 at 11:12 am

Then please, tell us the rest of the story……….

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Eliza December 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Hey Mary – Laura Robinson is a lawyer, has plenty of experience, and understood the law better than most in that agency. She truly cared about doing the right thing for the agency, the employers and the taxpayers in the state pushed everyone around her to work hard. And having someone in government who cares about doing the right thing and working hard sometimes makes you unpopular – shocking, right? She inherited a gargantuan mess over there and was trying to fix it. Talk about more to the story.

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GTFOHP March 31, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Having worked with her at another company, I can attest to the fact that she was not well liked at all when I worked with her. And you should really find out why she left Companion. Just because someone is educated does not mean they are qualified to lead others.

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GTFOHP March 31, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Having worked with her at another company, I can attest to the fact that she was not well liked at all when I worked with her. And you should really find out why she left Companion. Just because someone is educated does not mean they are qualified to lead others.

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Dave December 3, 2012 at 11:41 am

i hear the chief of staff resigned last friday as well. possibly the only person that was doing a job they were qualified to do since dr. anderson left.

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interested December 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm

If that were true then why isn’t FITS all over it?

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interested December 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Chief of staff Lowder was a military guy brought in by Turner.

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Dave December 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm

i hear he was also put out by turner. but who knows. he is definitely gone though.

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EJB December 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Recovering Lobbyist

I agree the agency has been messed up for a long time. That doesn’t excuse Governor Haley from getting it straightened out. It didn’t go bad on her watch but it isn’t getting fixed either.

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Sassy December 3, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Another one bites the dust, more to come. Heard a UI claims supervisor left Friday too. How many more will leave? Some can’t be thrown out cuz they’re a permanent fixture. Would love to see some of the oldies, but not goodies go. Never our luck cuz the goodies go, oldies stay.

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interested December 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm

anyone can be thrown out. what are you referring to, the one year thing? doesn’t matter.

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norman December 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm

It has been a mess for decades it was run by a benevolent dictator pal of John West. When it changed from the corrupt commission form to a cabinet agency it needed a total house cleaning that was never done.

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