Spartanburg DSS Scandal

DID AGENCY TRY TO SWEEP ARREST UNDER THE RUG? The business manager at Spartanburg County’s division of the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) was arrested earlier this week and charged with first offense criminal domestic violence. Shalonie Dawkins, 35, of Cowpens, S.C. was arrested on Monday by authorities in…


The business manager at Spartanburg County’s division of the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) was arrested earlier this week and charged with first offense criminal domestic violence.

Shalonie Dawkins, 35, of Cowpens, S.C. was arrested on Monday by authorities in Spartanburg County and booked at the local detention center following her arrest.  Her mugshot – which you can view HERE – appeared on the website of The (Spartanburg, S.C.) Herald Journal, the local newspaper.

Albeit briefly …

According to our sources, the Herald-Journal  yanked Dawkins’ image shortly after being contacted by SCDSS officials.

Why would they do that?  Well, a conviction on criminal domestic violence (CDV) charges would result in automatic termination from the agency – which makes sense considering SCDSS routinely takes children into its care due to CDV arrests.  Speaking of, Dawkins reportedly has two children living under her  care at the home where the arrest took place on Monday.

“If DSS is unable to hire personnel, especially those in supervisory positions, who (cannot) restrain themselves in difficult situations, how can they be preaching to the clients they work with about violence in the home?” one source told FITS.

That’s a good question … although we believe Dawkins should have her day in court before we start assuming the worst.

Sources close to the agency tell FITS the incident is “under review” and that Dawkins handles financial responsibilities – not at-risk children.

“She does not work with children or oversee case workers who work with children,” one source close to the situation told FITS.

SCDSS has been under fire (and rightly so) for its negligence in child welfare cases.  In fact publicity surrounding one of those cases – which was exposed exclusively here on FITS – contributed to the resignation of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley‘s SCDSS director, Lillian Koller.

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Angie August 21, 2014 at 8:56 am

More Haley scandals…keep them coming…

The Colonel August 21, 2014 at 10:47 am

Okay, exactly how is this a Haley scandal?

Deo Vindice SC August 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm

A Haley supporter ?

Tazmaniac August 21, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Your only saying that because she is a person of color. You see how stupid that sounds?

southernchic August 21, 2014 at 9:35 am

Who exactly tried to hide it?

KarmaSmiles August 21, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Most likely, the Spartanburg County DSS director, Katie Brophy. They’re quite cozy.

SMH August 23, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Spartanburg DSS has a new interim director now, Angela Robinson, who will have to deal with this situation. It will be interesting to see how she handles this problem. She will have to do the right thing if she wants to be appointed as the Director permanently. Let’s see if she has the balls to follow policy.

KarmaSmiles August 24, 2014 at 12:02 am

I’m curious as to the circumstances surrounding Brophy’s departure. Was it amicable or was she forced out through termination/pressure to resign? I wonder if she sought counseling or other mental health treatment after leaving that toxic environment…this seems to be pretty commonplace with the frontline human services personnel. (That question is intended to be rhetorical…I respect others’ right to health privacy). Any general insight on her leaving would shed some light on this murky scenario.

I hope that these issues throughout the agency would be resolved in a manner that allows the case workers to do their jobs effectively. I genuinely believe that most of the workers are there because they care, it’s certainly not for the pay or prestige!

Broken Halo August 24, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Surely this person has been terminated by now?

Anonymous August 24, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Oh good lord no. She will be there tomorrow with a big smile on her face like nothing happened thumbing her nose at all those who think anything will come of this.

Guest August 24, 2014 at 9:12 pm

The employees at that agency should contact the representative for Spartanburg and demand her resignation

Guest August 24, 2014 at 10:07 pm

With the fear of retaliation that would never happen State an opinion they do not like and you will be harrassed until you quit or you will be fired for a trumped up charge

Guest August 24, 2014 at 8:10 pm

She still employed with DSS?

JimBob August 24, 2014 at 11:38 pm

Obviously has connections in someone up the ladder

KarmaSmiles August 26, 2014 at 2:58 am

She likes to brag that her mother was a career DSS employee and is now retired. The ladder is obviously engineered differently for those who “grow up” with longtime staff. I wouldn’t want to accuse anyone of nepotism.

I certainly hope her children are not physically or emotionally affected by her actions. This is probably not their first incident as male victims of CDV fear the stigma that goes along with their status as a victim of a woman’s rage. Speculation on my part, but a lot of familiar patterns are hard to ignore.

Rice August 30, 2014 at 11:22 am

I retired from Spartanburg and know 20 years ago this person would have been dismissed immediatley. But that was when all employees were held to a higher standard. From what I have heard Mrs Dawkins has has been allowed free reign and considers herself beyond reproach. “Can’t Touch This” Why wasn’t she fired? Another example of how poorly run DSS is now

Jazzy August 30, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Right on Rice! We are all screaming “Why has she not been fired?” Workers are expected to follow policy, but I suppose those in the upper chain of command are not under the same regulations as everyone else. Had this been anybody else, they would have been fired or asked to resign. Just one more reason the supervisors are not respected. Treat everyone fairly and treat us all the same; no matter our “social status”, job responsibilities, our skin color, our religious beliefs, our rate of pay, etc.

EJB August 21, 2014 at 10:29 am

She’ll end up pleading to an expired parking meter or something.

Deo Vindice SC August 21, 2014 at 3:07 pm

50 cent’s retribution at most. And millions from the taxpayers. For some reason this sham is new to SC people. Go figure, either way, the money trail IS THERE, but, no one will even go there, even SLED. Some call it ethics, some call it business as usual in SC. Get ready to pay !

Tazmaniac August 21, 2014 at 10:33 am

Those types of agencies are usually staffed with useless bureaucratic idiots in possession of useless liberal arts degrees considered unemployable by everyone in private industry except Mickey D or Walmart. You get what you get, why is this news? Anyone who expects DSS to actually care about the children and the results of their actions has the be more than just a little naive.

R. Sterling August 21, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Speaking of bullsh*$…. I’m going to go ahead and say that I’m betting the Bull Street project will be completed before the Legislative Audit Council finishes their 2013 audit of DSS. There, I said it.

Ima Tella Truth August 21, 2014 at 7:59 pm Reply
shifty henry August 21, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Doesn’t appear to me to be the first time they did this. They obviously have pre-planned their activities.

KarmaSmiles August 21, 2014 at 9:57 pm

She may be the business mgr now, but she has worked directly with clients in the recent past. When you read about corruption within DSS, picture this woman: intimidation of staff, dishonesty in legally-binding forums, nepotism that allowed her to “move on up” in the agency so that she can look down on staff who are being placed in unsafe environments, complete lack of empathy…

This could not have happened to a more deserving individual. Tomorrow should be an interesting day at the office!

scstate August 21, 2014 at 10:26 pm

She worked six months in the Adult Protective Services Unit then promoted to Business Manager. She certainly climbed the ladder fast. I bet they regret that move! She got the promotion because she can talk a good game, but never shows up to play. Wouldn’t surprise me if she talks her way out of this CDV charge but nonetheless, should be terminated for “unbecoming conduct of a state employee.” She is rarely in the office and when present, she is in workout clothes running up the street or exercising in the training room using the high tech, state owned, big screen tvs to play her work out videos while the “worker bees” are drowning in work. If she stays she certainly needs to be assigned some real job duties to keep her out of trouble. Perhaps she could help the overworked, over stressed, under paid front line workers. Honestly until this thing is resolved she should at least be suspended without pay. She is a waste of tax payer money.

NoT FoolEd August 23, 2014 at 7:45 pm

More to story investigate

Eddie August 26, 2014 at 8:01 pm

After speaking to someone at The Department Of Social Service’s headquarters, I was assured an “investigation into this situation is ongoing.” In other words, they do not care about what happens in the county. Small fish don’t fry

Lynn August 30, 2014 at 10:10 am

How can DSS even begin to start rebuilding integrity within the agency and the community if they are not willing to follow policy? How can they have 2 sets of rules – one for employees, and one for everyone else? A CDV MAY HAVE resulted in at the least, a home visit because there were children in the home had anyone reported it. This incident has been reported all over the internet and news, until slowly but surely mugshots, booking information, etc. disappears. I still say, even if some way she wiggles out of this charge, the conduct is unbecoming a state employee and she should be terminated. And if she does get off a CDV then perhaps the judge should be looked at too! Sounds like the fox is in charge of the hen house at DSS.

fightingfire August 30, 2014 at 10:21 am

She has lived in the small town of Cowpens where the CRIME occurred. Small town politics – it’s who you know. I understand the Chief of Police has been on the force for years and knows everyone in town. I just hope Mrs. Dawkins doesn’t pull that magic wand from her hiney and make the charge completely disappear and walks free. People need to understand it is not just women who suffer the brunt of CDV, but men are too. It appears her husband did the right thing and did not participate in the abuse as he was not arrested. Perhaps he had his children’s best interest at heart. Good daddy. Bad mommy. Bad state employee. I hope her violence is not unleashed in the workplace. That is the last thing DSS needs. I hope her children did not witness the abuse.

Rice August 30, 2014 at 11:41 am

If FITS found this worthy to print, and is correct, her mugshot was taken down so quickly, one has to assume Ms Dawkins has friends much higher than just in Cowpens. It is all in who you know

guest August 22, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Just another example of why DSS is in such a mess. No QUALITY leaders to lead. Good leaders LEAD by example. This story tells me when things do not go my way, I should just beat the hell out of them.

NoT FooLed August 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Focus on issue. Second in power at agency arrested on Criminal Domestic Violence charge with her children in the home. why is she still employed by the very agency that’s sole purpose is to protect people from the violence that she is guilty of perpetrating?

wat? August 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm


concerned August 27, 2014 at 11:03 am

They should take a look at Laurens County. Byron Dendy has promoted a hostile work place there for sure. Him and his Bandits they call case workers have turned on and run most of the whites off since he’s been there. They currently have a Security Guard there, seem’s he had a Foster Parent arrested last week, claims he was threatened.
He also allows the chosen few to take cars home, including himself….Hmmm

jaks August 27, 2014 at 1:02 pm


jaks August 30, 2014 at 10:48 pm

it gone

wat? August 31, 2014 at 11:14 am

yawn. old news. who cares?

Divinity August 31, 2014 at 11:58 pm

Perhaps they should appoint Shalonie Dawkins to Bobby Harrell’s CDV task force. She could offer inside information to the group. If she gets terminated, as she rightfully should, she could be the poster child for a billboard campaign across SC. Close your eyes and imagine her mugshot on a fast food ad asking, “Do you want fries with that?” Underneath a quote saying – ” I beat my husband and lost my cushy job with the State of SC. CDV is an equal opportunity crime. It’s not just for men anymore.”

Jackie September 5, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Interesting…….is she still employed?

Jackie September 5, 2014 at 7:36 pm

This happened in 2012, but this was a Spartanburg County DSS employee’s child and she is still employed there. There have been many child neglect/abuse cases involving DSS employees and they are still employed there also.

Child In DSS Custody After Being Found Alone In Theater Parking LotPosted: May 29, 2012 12:56 PM EDT

By Wspa Staff

Police in Spartanburg were called to a report of an abandoned child on John B. White Sr. Boulevard Monday.

When they arrived, they say a woman saw the child in the parking lot and brought him into the movie theater and called 911.

The child was by himself. According to an incident report, he was dressed, but did not have on underwear and his shoes were on the wrong feet. He also smelled like he hadn’t been bathed recently.

The child is now in the custody of the state Department of Social Services.

A woman later called police asking about her missing child. Officials met with her and told her that her child was in DSS custody.

She then told investigators she was sleeping and her daughter was supposed to be watching the child.

She declined to give a further statement and left.


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