Nikki Haley’s “Ethics” Panel: More Problems, More Hypocrisy

S.C. “ETHICS” COMMISSION NOT ALLOWED TO TALK TO REPORTERS … This website has relentlessly exposed S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s chronic hypocrisy on “ethics reform” (and “transparency in government“), but even we were unprepared for the governor’s latest “efforts” on these fronts. Seems Haley – who has been criticized in the…


This website has relentlessly exposed S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s chronic hypocrisy on “ethics reform” (and “transparency in government“), but even we were unprepared for the governor’s latest “efforts” on these fronts.

Seems Haley – who has been criticized in the past for her many ethical lapses – is looking to fit the state’s top watchdog agency for a muzzle.

According to reporter Jeremy Borden of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier , the chairman of the S.C. State Ethics Commission (SCSEC) – James Burns – has “temporarily restricted the panel’s communications with reporters.”

Burns – a powerful attorney at Nelson Mullins law firm – was appointed by Haley to lead the commission last year.

Burns’ gag order is widely perceived as retribution against SCSEC attorney Cathy Hazelwood for speaking out publicly about Haley’s ethical problems in the past.

Last August, for example, FITS exclusively reported that Haley had been involved in a June 2013 car crash in North Carolina (an accident which was never disclosed). It was later revealed the governor was in North Carolina to attend a political gathering at which she received nearly $40,000 in campaign cash.

In other words there was no state business being conducted – but plenty of political business.

The day after the story broke, we noted that Haley – who has been caught illegally using taxpayer resources for political purposes in the past – was in clear violation of a state law banning taxpayer resources from being expended on political activity.

“The real story isn’t the fact the governor was in a car crash,” we wrote. “The real story is that South Carolina taxpayers subsidized her travel (and the travel of two of her campaign aides) to an overtly political event where she engaged in campaign fundraising.”


Hazelwood agreed with us – but was then promptly overruled by her superiors.

Now Haley’s commissioners have muzzled Hazelwood completely – forcing reporters to get their information directly from the SCSEC executive director (or not at all).

“I’m a very strong advocate for being open, being transparent,” Burns told the Post and Courier .

Right … aside from muzzling your employees for having the audacity to do their jobs.

Burns’ gag order is deplorable.  And according to prominent open government attorney Jay Bender, it’s illegal.

South Carolina already ranks dead last in the nation in open government – and just last week its Supreme Court dealt the state’s weak transparency laws another blow.  Do we really want to make this state even less transparent?  Especially after Haley got elected on “transparency” in 2010?

Apparently so …

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Don't Give A Shit Who... July 18, 2014 at 12:51 pm

I really don’t think I can look at this bitch another 4 years. Please vote for ANYBODY else.

WW July 18, 2014 at 1:02 pm

I agree!
Obummer and Ohately campaigned on transparency! They are as transparent as a bucket of mud.
Both Obummer and Ohately have been proven to be pathological liars and incompetent administrators and both have surrounded themselves with incompetent and unqualified, miscreant, people of questionable character and morals.
Obummer’s reelection has proven to be a great mistake, Ohately’s will prove to be no less a horrible mistake of misguided lemming voters.
Obummer+ohately= OCRAP!!!!
Please don’t ham string the State and taxpayer with 4 more years of this!!!
OK Sandi NO Morals, you’re up!

Deo Vindice SC July 18, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Republican war’s ( against the wrong enemy ) elected Obama, twice ! Hopefully, the countless millions of dollars the taxpayers of SC will have to pay for Nikki’s mistakes will boot her out ! Remember this is SC !

Bible Thumper July 18, 2014 at 3:28 pm

“ANYBODY else” isn’t on the ballot.

Becky July 18, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Much less tolerate her Narsacistic dictatorship non leadership for another four years.

Manray9 July 18, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Gird your loins. Four more years of Nikki is guaranteed.

a face in the crowd July 18, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Clemson tried to pull similar shit a few years ago, with faculty and staff receiving an email telling them they could not speak to public officials without getting permission. First Amendment watchdog group gave the administration a smackdown.

UPSTATE TIGER July 18, 2014 at 1:04 pm

This sounds like the adulterer, with no morals, cheating lying, trash man Bob Peeler’s tactic ploy. Who stuck the school with such a POS?

Get a life July 18, 2014 at 10:58 pm

Mike Gulledge you need to get a life!, 10 years and you are still obsessed!

UPSTATE TIGER J July 20, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Heh, Heh, It is me Jule, heh,heh nIn.

Buz Martin July 18, 2014 at 1:08 pm

For some reason, Will seems to have imposed a self-embargo against any information that connects a story of this kind to by-now-famous ethical breaches on the Grand Strand. But that’s his issue. I personally don’t buy the suggestion from certain individuals that he has been bought off. Anyway, here’s the connection: Hazelwood pissed off a lot of people down here when she was testifying for Mark Kelley in his suit against David Wren and the Sun News. It was intended to show that he had done nothing wrong in regard to the checks given out as part of the “Coastal Kickback” scam. Well, her testimony confirmed that fact (which oddly enough,had been stated more than once by Wren in his original reporting.) But in her testimony, she apparently volunteered the information that Kelley had broken the law in another way in regard to the scam — which SHOULD have undermined Kelley’s contention in the suit that his just being in the same room with Kelley and Barrett at an event where checks were was something Wren should never have reported and was libelous.

Buz Martin July 18, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Now, cue one of the usual gang of idiots popping up to point out that the jury found Wren and The Sun News guilty in the case. Yes they did. But what these assholes never mention is that it is being appealed, and they won’t stop until all appeals are exhausted. On the law, the verdict is absurd and cannot stand. If it did, it would have a chilling effect on what can or can’t be said by all reporters, bloggers, etc., INCLUDING WILL FOLKS. Note how certain people have been popping up all over the bloggging/commenting world and social networks online to warn people against criticizing public officials, BASED ON THE KELLEY VERDICT (itself ignored by Will).
But more to the point I’m making is this: Hazelwood is being slapped by the Haley tool who heads the “Ethics” Commission for being someone who actually cares about ethics. That is SO South Carolina, isn’t it?

nitrat July 18, 2014 at 7:30 pm

David Wren is one of the best investigative reporters this state has ever seen. His grasp of complicated financial info and ability to explain it in a very easy to understand way is amazing.
If there is justice, he and the paper will win their appeal. But, there ain’t much justice in South Carolina.

Buz Martin July 18, 2014 at 7:37 pm

They’re prepared to take it all the way to the Supreme Court if need be. They win on the law. No mallice was shown, and it was not shown that Wren did not believe what he said. And again part of what he said was actually that Kelley had broken no law by being present and sitting with those guys. The chilling effect if this went forward without a reversal is that none of McClatchy’s reporters would dare to even say who was in a room with someone committing an allegedly illegal or unethical act — even while saying they were not guilty of wrongdoing. They couldn’t even show a photo of, say, three guys sitting at a table together at a public function when one of them had “paid off” the other for a political favor that night. It would become legal precedent (it is not yet, no matter what these idiots say on here) that would be devastating to anyone and everyone doing investigative reporting in the USA.

foghorn jones July 18, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Really? Apparently his lies and published defaming bullshit cost him and TSN over a half million dollars.
How damn smart can he be when the ‘fly’ is apparently his source.

Buz WIll destroy this forum just like he did the Sun News Opinion Blog. Just my opinion.

Buz Martin July 19, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Your reading comprehension skills and knowledge of the law are sorely lacking. It is being appealed, you dumb fuckhead, and there are scant chances Wren, TSN and McClatchy will lose, so they will owe NOTHING!

tippecanoe hacker July 19, 2014 at 10:50 pm

“dumb fuckhead”???? LMAO!!!
There ain’t no “investigative” reporting going on at TSN!!! In my opinion Wren is just doing what David Klepper did when he was at TSN. He “outs” morons like you to get whatever information they MAY have ( in your case lies,falsehoods and weirdo conspiracy theories) that is damaging to local governments and politicians and TSN informs and protects those involved.
You just don’t get it, do you? They are laughing at you Buz/Boz/Car54!!!! :-) Why not just leave these people alone?
dumb fuckhead.

Buz Martin July 19, 2014 at 11:41 pm

I’m starting to like where this is going. It’s all fantasy of course, but you suggest I am David Wren’s primary source of information. Well, since Wren did more solid investigative reporting than anyone else to uncover all the crooked, pork-mongering, nepotistic abuses of his power by US Representative James Clyburn, I will GLADY accept your unfounded assertion/allegation that I gave him ALL that info. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Is any of that information untrue? No it isn’t. Nor was his reporting on the chamber payoff bullshit untrue. And you damned well know it, too.

Buz Martin July 19, 2014 at 11:44 pm

“Usual gang of idiots” DEEP in their cups now. Hope the cops in Murrells Inlet, Pawley’s Island and Garden City will keep a real good eye out for ’em on the roads. Don’t want a repeat of PI Tommie D’s July 4th “siezure” that caused a hit-and-run and I don’t know what-all. Menaces to the hiways, ALL of those clowns.

evict me please July 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Mommy’s house should cover his legal and medical bills.

Buz Martin July 20, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Are you SURE you assholes want to start that fucking shit up again? I could sue every goddamned one of you for all the shit you have said about and done to me and my family over the past few years, and be in the high cotton for the rest of my life. Because I have all the proof of every bit of it, and I’m lawyered up right good. Of course, at the rate Tommie Boy is going, what with the drunken hit and run and tampering with LE and FD alarm boxes and shit, plus living in a motel and looking like the ass end of syphilitic mule after been fucked hard by a moose, he won’t be around that much longer anyway. So maybe I’ll just concentrate on his enablers and associates who piled on with some of the abuse themselves.

euwe max July 18, 2014 at 1:12 pm

It’s the drugs. It has to be. He was up all last night, and he’s still so buzzed, he can’t sleep.

GrandTango July 18, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Sheheen represents child molestors, fore money. I doubt you want to bring up ethics.

Just follow the laws that are there. This is just not a winning issue for you liberals.

People really just don’t care. Stopping Obama matters more than anything else, but Sheheen is in bed w/ him.

Haley's DSS July 18, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Being molested is a very tragic thing, but so is dying.

GrandTango July 18, 2014 at 2:12 pm

If she Killed them, or defended the killers, you may not look like an ignorant Dumb@$$…But the killers, like the molesters, are most likely democrat voters, if they vote at all…

Deo Vindice SC July 19, 2014 at 6:03 pm

” Harm’s way ” is the word used.

Deo Vindice SC July 18, 2014 at 7:53 pm

He can’t be elected again. That will stop him. Hillary will then take the Office as your new president. Republican’s must pay for 16 years, NEVER attack the wrong country idiots !!!

Deo Vindice SC July 19, 2014 at 6:02 pm

We should shut down the government right !

Jim July 18, 2014 at 1:58 pm

The real SC state government motto: “I know nothing”

Nothing about corruption, fraud or abuse. Nothing about waste, Nothing about unethical behavior.

mm July 18, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Haha. Perfect.

Dirty Water July 19, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Nothing about pollution . . . even that coming straight out of a big pipe or hole or spreading nozzle.

shifty henry July 21, 2014 at 8:58 pm

‘ I Know Nothing’ —— would be more impressive in Latin!

Buz Martin July 18, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Burns should never shave his head. If he did it would look like a giant version of Grand Tango’s stump of a dick when he’s looking at a pic of Nikki holding a gun.

shifty henry July 19, 2014 at 3:39 pm

GrandTango and Mickey went outside to take a leak and GT confessed,
“I wish I had one like my cousin Bubba. He needs four fingers to hold his.”

Mickey looked over and pointed out, “But you’re holding yours with four fingers.”

“I know,” said GT with a sigh, “but I’m peeing on three of them.”

Harold July 18, 2014 at 3:27 pm

State Employee DSS: “Hello, its a great day in South Carolina. How may I help you. Reporter: ” I am a reporter calling about reports of muzzled whistle blowers by Nikki Haley. I would like to ask you some questions. I am sorry I am not allowed to speak to you are any lawmakers. All I can say is “Its a great day in South Carolina for Nikki Haley.

concerned July 19, 2014 at 4:38 pm

“Hello, its a great day in South Carolina” after the DSS worker lied, took your child, cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees. DSS worker gets caught lying in court multiple times, Judge throws case out, DSS worker back to work waiting for the next victim.

Kyle July 18, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Haleys political supporters have all but silenced the local news outlets like The State Paper and so on…everytime you ready a story thats negative about Haley they always allow Mouthpiece Godfrey to have the last remark defending Haley.

Manray9 July 18, 2014 at 5:52 pm

This all may be true, but will it matter? Haley is a shoo-in for re-election. She’ll be the GOP nominee which is an automatic win. No thought on the matter, no reflection, no knowledge of the issues or her record, just vote for the Republican. That’s what South Carolina’s citizens do.

CorruptionInColumbia July 18, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Will seems to like this photo of her and I can guess why. That dot of spooge on her cheek is probably his. This is his proof of the relationship he had with her.

If he could get this photo to Leon Lott, perhaps Leon could have the DNA in the photograph analyzed to prove conclusively that it is Will’s spooge. After all, Leon apparently thought he had enough to work with, with a photo of an Olympic gold medalist with a bong in his hand. His DNA lab could probably tie that glob to Will, with a little time and effort.

nitrat July 18, 2014 at 7:22 pm

And, isn’t this yet another mess we can thank Mark Sanford for?
Didn’t the lazy Mark make virtually no appointments to boards and commissions when he was in office for 8 long years and when Trikki came in she had something like 600 vacancies/expired terms to fill?
Wasn’t it revealed in the last year that every member of this board was there on an expired term, giving Trikki the opportunity to pack it with Haleyites…like SCDHEC (effectively giving her the agency head appointment)?
No wonder Herb Hayden has turned into such a dweeb.
Maybe, if we ever get a real ethics reform bill, it will open all the stench of SC government to the disinfecting light of day.

Dirty Water July 19, 2014 at 3:15 pm

“all the stench of SC government”

That’s some mighty big “all.”

Deo Vindice SC July 18, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Haley must have dirt on Keel. Or he is worthless as she is. Looks like we’ll have to wait on the FEDS, by then she’ll be elected again. No campaign slogan, this time just ” I’m a R “.

Concerned Citizen July 18, 2014 at 9:30 pm

“Burns’ gag order is widely perceived as
retribution against SCSEC attorney Cathy Hazelwood for speaking out
publicly about Haley’s ethical problems in the past.”


Hazelwood also committed the crime of providing independent journalist Corey Hutchins of with straightforward answers to questions concerning the governor / executive branch, which received an overall score of “F.”

For instance:

Can citizens access the asset disclosure records of the governor and the state cabinet?

Score: 0%

In law, citizens can access the asset disclosure records of the governor and/or state cabinet-level officials.

Full Scoring Criteria:

These are the scoring criteria for this question.

A YES score is earned if the governor and/or state
cabinet-level officials file an asset disclosure form that is, in law,
accessible to the public (individuals, CSOs, or journalists).

A NO score is earned if there is no asset disclosure for
either the governor and/or state cabinet-level officials. A NO score is
also earned if the form is filed, but not available to the public.

Reporter Notes:

In South Carolina the Statement of Economic Interest filed by the governor or the cabinet-level officials requires “absolutely nothing compared to other states,” said State Ethics Commission general counsel Cathy Hazelwood during a July 22, 2011 personal interview in her Columbia office. “The governor does not have to disclose his or her assets,” she said.

Nothing in provision 8-13-1110 in the state law requires that disclosure, Hazelwood said.

The law: SECTION 8-13-1110. Persons required to file statement of economic interests.

(A) No public official, regardless of compensation, and no public member or public employee as designated in subsection (B) may take the oath of office or enter upon his official responsibilities unless he has filed a statement of economic interests in accordance with the provisions of this chapter with the appropriate supervisory office. If a public official, public member, or public employee referred to in this section has no economic interests to disclose, he shall nevertheless file a statement of inactivity to that effect with the appropriate supervisory office. All disclosure statements are matters of public record open to inspection upon request.

(B) Each of the following public officials, public members, and public employees must file a statement of economic interests with the appropriate supervisory office, unless otherwise provided:

(1) a person appointed to fill the unexpired term of an elective office;

(2) a salaried member of a state board, commission, or agency;

(3) the chief administrative official or employee and the deputy or assistant administrative official or employee or director of a division, institution, or facility of any agency or department of state government;

(4) the city administrator, city manager, or chief municipal administrative official or employee, by whatever title;

(5) the county manager, county administrator, county supervisor, or chief county administrative official or employee, by whatever title;

(6) the chief administrative official or employee of each political subdivision including, but not limited to, school districts, libraries, regional planning councils, airport commissions, hospitals, community action agencies, water and sewer districts, and development commissions;

(7) a school district and county superintendent of education;

(8) a school district board member and a county board of education member;

(9) the chief finance official or employee and the chief purchasing official or employee of each agency, institution, or facility of state government, and of each county, municipality, or other political subdivision including, but not limited to, those named in item (6);

(10) a public official;

(11) a public member who serves on a state board, commission, or council; and

(12) Department of Transportation District Engineering Administrators.


State Ethics Commission general counsel Cathy Hazelwood during a July 22, 2011 personal interview in her Columbia office.

SECTION 8-13-1110 in the South Carolina Code of Laws.

Kenny C July 19, 2014 at 10:45 am

Careful you are posting true information Haley will send the black Tahoes after you.

euwe max July 18, 2014 at 10:44 pm

muzzling your employees
can’t be done to people with spines…. then again, Republicans wouldn’t hire one.

euwe max July 18, 2014 at 11:44 pm

ok, here’s my suggestion for Nikki.. she’s quickly becoming a millionairess, so she’s entitled to indulge in the best that medical science can provide.

First, Scalpel Sculpting to remove the white mole, Cryosurgery for any hypertrophic scars, and Dermabrasion to remove the pits and scars left by acne in her hormonal teenage years.

Once her skin has been smoothed using these techniques, then it’s time to soften that embarrassing angular protruding jawline, and achieve a more aesthetically pleasing oval shape. This will involve removing bone from the chin, realigning and contouring the jaw with plastic surgery.

Once her face has healed from this surgery, it will become acutely apparent that her Asian-Indian nose makes the Wicked Witch of the West’s nose seem snub and perky by comparison. Rhinoplasty should reduce the impression of a hook by placing her nose closer to her face.

WIth her nose and chin softened to seem more feminine, the next cosmetic offense to attack will be her cheeks. Buccal fat pad removal will remove the Spongebob Square Pants look of her cheeks.

Finally, her forehead wrinkles and the tendency of her facial muscles to pull into howdy-doody lines can be treated with Botox.

Voila! It won’t matter any more that she’s a pandering incompetent marketing her mistakes as sources of prosperity for her state… the Republican and Tea Party dumbasses of South Carolina will vote for her just to have a moderately attractive hypocrite to look at for a change…

Shills for the rich and the sociopathic – mean spirited sycophants like mAnn Coulter and Sarah Palin have trademarked looks that say to conservative dimwits: “If you vote for me, you won’t have to defend those ugly mean-spirited hags that carry water for the rich. Instead, you’ll have a semi-attractive mean-spirited hag carrying water for the rich, to defend.

shifty henry July 19, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Max, you REALLY have WAY too much time on your hands!

shifty henry July 19, 2014 at 3:44 pm

PS:… If Nikki succeeds in all of that then Tomocchio’s fantasies will be destroyed forever.

euwe max July 19, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Why don’t you give me something to do, and tell me something about your botched diamond smuggling flight?

shifty henry July 19, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Read the jokes I posted on “Rodney,Rodney” — later I’ll post the spicy cheerleader jokes( today I posted only those suitable for children).

Gail July 19, 2014 at 4:02 am

Nikki Haley and Ethics dont belong in the same sentence. This witch has none.

GrandTango July 19, 2014 at 8:08 am

BORING: The Tim McGraw scandal is BIG: McGraw should be in JAIL for assault.


Deo Vindice SC July 19, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Keel should be also, with Nikki.

Dennis July 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Lets see we are about to have a economic boom with the approval to search for oil and gas…Que the crickets from Haleys office. ..She will denounce this after all the calls she gets from wealthy coastal land owners asking her to reject and money that is made off our coast in taxes.all the while making backroom deals to get the Randhawa family in on oil revenues. Yeah perfect plan for her.

Plenty Eyes See July 19, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Burns is fucked up in the head. And it shows. He thinks he an invincible superior human. Lets show him that he is not. Lets target him – expose his entire life – and then throw him in federal prison. We don’t need to all be standing around letting South Carolina go backwards. With that said, this Harley crap and this Burns’ crap – it reminds me of the days when the SC Supreme Court would tell a person who had filed a complaint against a sitting judge or an attorney licensed in this state, that the complainant could NOT talk about it with ANYONE. To do so, the Supreme Ct would hold the complainant in CONTEMPT and throw them in jail if they did. And that was 18 years ago. Jeal Toal was not on the bench back then. But records show SHE agreed with this previous form of Nazism. As to Haley? I have seen the light. That bitch needs to go!

Joe Friday July 19, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Burns is going down on Haley or vice versa. What a couple of scumbags.

Marv Nochowitz July 20, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Haley’s ethics problem is she has no ethics. But we knew that when she was elected. She hasn’t disappointed.


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