SCDSS Hearing: Test Of Womanhood

WILL NIKKI HALEY’S WELFARE CZARINA SHOW UP? This Wednesday, South Carolina lawmakers will hold a hearing into a myriad of alleged abuses at the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) – arguably the worst-managed agency in S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s cabinet. The hearing – convened by a subcommittee charged with…


This Wednesday, South Carolina lawmakers will hold a hearing into a myriad of alleged abuses at the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) – arguably the worst-managed agency in S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s cabinet.

The hearing – convened by a subcommittee charged with providing oversight of this cabinet agency – is chaired by S.C. Sen. Tom Young (R-Aiken). Driving the questioning? Senators Katrina Shealy (R-Lexington) and Joel Lourie (D-Richland).

At issue?

Well … there’s no shortage of issues to discuss. There’s the colossal and ongoing failure of this agency’s child support enforcement database, the total lack of follow-through with regard to a food stamp waiver touted by Haley, questionable consultant payments, allegations of cooked books at its “welfare to work” program (as well as its food stamp system) … and of course child deaths.

“This panel is the beginning of the end for DSS,” one lawmaker told FITS. “After this DSS will no longer exist as it is currently configured – because it’s that bad.”

Ouch …

The only question is whether the woman who has run this agency into the ground – Haley’s political appointee Lillian Koller – will bother to show up for the hearing.

Koller was briefly hospitalized last month with what was originally described as a “mini-stroke.” She’s been out of her office ever since.  Of course sources close to the agency tell FITS Koller’s “mini-stroke” was really “some sort of bi-polar episode,” and have suggested the point of her illness (and extended taxpayer-funded convalescence) was/ is avoiding accountability for the sorry state of her agency.

Hmmm …

That would make this quite the test of womanhood …

Both Senators Shealy and Lourie have gone on the record saying Koller should attend Wednesday’s hearing.  We concur.

Given the disaster unfolding at the agency, we would argue that if Koller is unable to face the music on Wednesday – she should be fired. In fact she should have been fired months ago.

Anyway, Wednesday’s hearing will be held at 9:00 a.m. EST in room 308 of the Gressette Senate Office Building – located on the grounds of the S.C. State House in downtown Columbia, S.C.

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Edgar January 20, 2014 at 8:56 pm

SC DSS is full of Democrats. Joel Lourie is such a Democratic Party zealot, he does not care who is at fault, to blame or screwed up. He is just going to be there to protect the Democrats. Lourie has already announced he is supporting Jean Toal because she was a friend of his father’s. He refused to listen to anything that would show that Toal is as corrupt as anybody we have ever had in the SC Judiciary. Lourie absolutely does not care. Just review how he handled the Lillian McBride fiasco and one will discover how much he cares about honesty and doing the right thing. He’s the loose cannon in this deal. ps. He ain’t no Isadore. Isadore was an honest, honorable man.

Torch January 20, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Democrats, republicans, there all corrupt party zealots. So what’s your point?

Edgar January 20, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Joel Lourie is one of the worst. But you have a good point. In his defense, he has to do what he has to do to keep his position. I mean, the store is out of business and what else can he do? Nothing.

Torch January 20, 2014 at 8:57 pm

“she should be fired” Hell, she should never have been hired. Was getting hammered by the Feds and everyone else in Hawaii.

Giant T January 20, 2014 at 9:11 pm

It is unfair to lay the disaster that is DSS at Koller’s feet. It was a disaster long before she got there.

your own employees January 20, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Giant T. You are an idiot if you think Koller is anything but a disaster. It is fair to blame Koller! Too many high paid consultants (to include girlfriends), too many out of town idiots hired, and too many mangers in Columbia who have no clue what they are doing. If she shows at the meeting on Wednesday, you will see the sorry ass staff she has with her. If she does not show, she will send those same sorry ass staff members. She is nothing but an egotistical POS who will do everything in her power for money and to bolster her attempt to secure a new job @ her next stop. Governor Haley needs to cut her loses before it is too late and get rid of Koller immediately. Oh yeah, someone needs to tell Koller there is a practice the most of us adhere to here on the main-land called “hygiene”.

Queen Jean January 20, 2014 at 10:13 pm

She has people on my team and nobody told me? Even if they are R’s, what da hell at my age? And my power. And my inherited money.

BrigidBernadette January 20, 2014 at 11:45 pm

Is she stinky?

DSS January 21, 2014 at 8:53 am

Soap and shampoo would do her wonders…………maybe she should bathe more than once a week!

BrigidBernadette January 21, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Well, personal care out the window is one of the first signs of mental illness, that is pretty shocking. We have someone in charge of the welfare of children, elderly, vulnerable, and they don’t bathe regularly, bizarre. I wonder if her poor daughter is being properly looked after.

Squishy123 January 22, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Was that the skinny brunette on the news tonight who looks like she hasn’t washed her hair in a month?

Giant T. January 21, 2014 at 7:11 am

Your own employees, how long has the state been bleeding fine money to the Feds because the child support database has not been up and running? Koller is no prize but it is wrong to use her as a scapegoat for this sorry agency. All the institutional dinosaurs need to be shown the door the same day she is.

nitrat January 21, 2014 at 10:17 am

Yeah, Giant T, but, like with Chris Christie, the fool at the top sets the tone and creates the work atmosphere. Plus, in my experience, people who are terrified or are just dedicated ass kissers at that middle management level can do a lot of harm carrying out the what the fool wants done.
DSS has had problems for decades. I don’t know if it’s had even a handful of decent directors in the last 40 years.
This most recent debacle also shows that the legislature has never done and will never do the needed oversight, even with ‘reorganization’ – nothing has been stopping them from doing it up to now except laziness. If they had bothered to read the Hawaiian papers, they would have never confirmed Koller – they would have known she habitually lies to legislators..
Like the other cabinet agencies in ‘reorganization’, we have replaced professional experts in their fields with political hack appointees. This has trickled down with the death of the Merit System. We have replaced a merit based state civil service system with cronyism. That is NOT moving in a good direction.

Torch January 21, 2014 at 10:46 am

You are correct. The last director before the cabinet agency fiasco was Jim Solomon. He was the last one that had a grasp of all parts of the agency. There has been one since then that was good, Dr. Kathleen Hayes. She was making progress at DSS and then Nikki got elected and Koller was anointed by the governor who thinks she is the mac daddy of a rock star director. It didn’t take long for the stuff to hit the fan as she alienated everyone and the agency went down a steep hill.

Same 'ol same 'ol January 20, 2014 at 9:28 pm

You mean like Haley should have fired Kela Thomas at PPP? Seriously…if that idiot (that’s the nicest name I can call her) will keep her job (especially after that legislative audit), Lillian Koller has nothing to worry about.

shifty henry January 21, 2014 at 8:16 am

Can anyone explain to Shifty why drive-thru ATMs have Braille on the buttons?

Centrist View January 21, 2014 at 9:34 am

Because Uncle Sam says so. Plus, they also have walk up machines that visually impaired customers use. It’s probably cheaper to have just one type of button on all machines. Otherwise they would have to procure two types of buttons, build two different types of machines, and make sure the right model of ATM got delivered and installed at the correct location.

Google search terms: why drive-thru ATMs have Braille on the buttons

Why Do Drive-Up ATMs Have Braille on the Buttons?
So the visually impaired can use them, of course. People who are
totally blind or severely visually impaired normally don’t drive, but
they might have a friend drive them around to run errands, or take a
cab. If a blind person is a passenger in a car, they ought to be able to
take advantage of the convenience of the drive-up ATM, too.

That’s why the Americans with Disabilities Act’s Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities require
the “instructions and all information for use” of ATMs, whether they’re
walk-up or drive-up, “be made accessible to and independently usable by
persons with vision impairments,” and that the machines provide
the visually impaired with the “same degree of privacy of input and
output available to all individuals.” Braille on the drive-up ATM
complies with the law and allows a visually impaired person who might be
in the back seat to use the machine just like a sighted person —
independently and privately.

Squishy123 January 21, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Sooo…. what happened? Typical SC grandstanding bullshit which will resort in nothing happening?

Jayj January 22, 2014 at 1:33 pm

When person that want to work, that are dedicated and not just wanting a check, they look over for their friends. The Good ole boy system works with DSS if you do not know anyone or a supervisor to pull your application they do not hire you. When they stop hiring friends and family and hire willing workers that care about family but most of ALL CHILDREN, they will always be in the shape they are in now.

TheCoast January 23, 2014 at 6:00 am

Where’s the update? Heard Koller didn’t even show up.


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