Tom Ervin: “Enough Is Enough” At SCDSS

GENERAL ASSEMBLY URGED TO STRIP NIKKI HALEY OF HER CONTROL OVER AGENCY By Tom Ervin  ||  The news that five children from Lexington County have been massacred and left on the side of the road is a horrific tragedy. As a parent, I ask all South Carolinians to pray for…


tom ervinBy Tom Ervin  ||  The news that five children from Lexington County have been massacred and left on the side of the road is a horrific tragedy. As a parent, I ask all South Carolinians to pray for the victims and their family. I want to thank law enforcement for their quick response to this tragedy.

In cases like these, we may never have all the answers to the questions that come to mind.  However, our state Department of Social Services has an ongoing responsibility to prevent these tragedies from happening over and over again. The children under DSS scrutiny are the most vulnerable population in our state and these children can’t protect themselves.

Unfortunately, we have seen these tragedies repeat themselves over and over again. From 2011 through 2013, 251 children have died under Governor Nikki Haley’s watch. This figure does not include the children that have died in 2014.

That is simply unacceptable.

Today’s news reports are that the Department of Social Services interviewed the man accused of killing his five children and concluded he was a, “highly intelligent, responsible father capable of caring for his children.”

On August 7th, DSS was at his home to investigate allegations of child abuse.

Less than a month later, these children are found dead.

Enough is enough.

I’m here today to call on the General Assembly to return in special session with the purpose of removing control of the Department of Social Services from Gov. Haley and placing it under the authority of an independent administrator or receiver.

Governor Haley’s record of failed leadership over DSS necessitates an immediate transfer of authority and control before another child is put in harm’s way.

I’m also calling on the legislative audit council to expedite the release of their independent findings concerning DSS, so we can implement new procedures and practices immediately.

I will continue to make this my focus until we can fix DSS. This is not politics, this is about protecting our most vulnerable children.

Tom Ervin is a former state lawmaker and judge who is running for governor as an independent Republican.  His remarks above were delivered at a press conference in Columbia, S.C.

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Larry Bishop September 10, 2014 at 5:15 pm

I agree sir 100%, Haley does not have a clue on hell what she is doing.

ms.daisy driving sheheen September 10, 2014 at 11:24 pm

Ervin is pro-abortion and supports state sanctioned gay marriage.

ELCID September 11, 2014 at 10:35 am

He supports freedom of choice, and equal rights for everybody.
So, what’s wrong with that position???I believe that’s in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

send in the clown-ervin September 11, 2014 at 11:15 am

LMAO….Ervin is a deceitful, lying piece of shit that has been run out of multiple political parties or quit….how in the fuck do you hold a press conference when you are polling at 0%? What a dunce.

SOB reminds me of Forest Gump.

ervin for ABORTION September 11, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Ervin supports the termination of the unborn. If he was really concerned about the most “vulnerable” in our society he would advocate for the unborn.

He is a typical Democrat-they only believe in the sanctity of a human life if it is a political winner.

Brer Bear September 10, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Damn you, Bobby Harrell. This is the story of the day. Ervin is right… but I’m still voting for Sheheen.

shocked September 10, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Larry, you sir, need a brain implant!
Ervin is by far the better person in the race!

FED UP Republican September 10, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Oh, don’t worry Haley had their backs…….yeah right! Haley’s “rock star” Koller has been a disaster, just like Haley!
Haley and her cabinett DSS gave these children up for slaughter!
Haley’s DSS is a disaster, just like her SLED, who had tapes on the illegal gambling corruption in Lexington County for 6 months and SAT on their hands until the media broke the story. Could it be because Frazier raised money for Haley and publicly condemned her opponet Gresham Barrett, for not dropping out and letting Haley have the nomination?
Haley allowed the personal financial information and social security numbers of MILLIONS of South Carolinians to be STOLEN!
Haley sold out the Charleston Port to Georgia, by changing the ENTRE DHEC Board for , her appointed DHEC board, in order to get a favorabloe ruling for Gov. Deal for the port in Savannah Georgia! She did this for a Georgia fund raiser and a prime speaking spot at the Republican Convention.
Haley lied on herethics report, lied for her position at Lexington Medical Center and lied again for her position at Wilbur Smith and Associates. BOTH Wilbur mith and Lexington medical testified she NEVER worked and NEVER provided any positive activity for either organization; but she was handsomely paid for nothing, by both…a bribe?
He list of lies and screw ups could go on and on.
She needs to be sent a message and sent packing!!!!!!!

Look Lower September 10, 2014 at 5:54 pm

“sold out the Charleston Port to Georgia, by changing the ENTRE DHEC Board for , her appointed DHEC board, in order to get a favorabloe ruling for Gov. Deal for the port in Savannah Georgia!”
There were compliant willing career stooges far below the board at DHEC who deserve a good part of the blame for greasing this sellout.

Recall Elections needed September 11, 2014 at 8:25 am

South Carolina needs:
Enhance governmental accountability by allowing registered voters to recall
elected officials who violate the trust placed in them by the electorate. Many
states allow such recall efforts if enough voters are upset with the actions of
an elected official. We in South Carolina need this ability as well. This is a
strong weapon in maintaining government OF the people, BY the people and FOR the
people instead of government by special interests.

nitrat September 11, 2014 at 9:02 am

“Haley sold out the Charleston Port to Georgia, by changing the ENTRE DHEC Board for , her appointed DHEC board”
She was ONLY able to do that because Mark Sanford was too busy hiking and left hundreds – HUNDREDS – of board and commission slots expired and unfilled.
WHY are the Democrats not smart enough to run a 2-for-1 campaign against the 12 years of the Sanford/Haley administration?
After all, the idiot Sanford who set up every single Haley agency scandal with his horrendous appointees is headed back to Congress with a total pass!!

WW September 11, 2014 at 10:53 am

SLED Chief Keel should resign also!
I read he said, the case did not meet criteria for an Amber Alert!
One was NOT issued!
Yet, the media reported there was serious concern that the children were in grave danger!
Keel dropped the ball, ignored the danger to these children and should resign, or be FORCED out immediately!!!!

Just another guy September 10, 2014 at 5:37 pm

What a dumb ass. If you want to be governor, do you not want the power to fix problems. If the GA takes back the power, the governor will never see it again. Does he not realize that. I think we need a true executive, and then hold them accountable (elections). Right now, we are paying someone to be governor that is nothing more than a figure head most of the time.

Nikki u know me September 10, 2014 at 5:49 pm

If Haley is reelected, it will prove there is NO accountability, nor justice in SC!!!!!!!!!! Haley is a total failure and needs to be given the door and I hope it hits her in that bulbous ass as she leaves!!!

nitrat September 11, 2014 at 8:56 am

Yeah, but do you think Cindi Scoppe and the rest at The State or Brad Warthen will ever understand that in SC there is less accountability than ever with the cabinet system they have pushed for 25 years?
When pigs fly.

Q September 10, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Haley has repeatedly proven her inability to run and manage South Carolina government. She is in well over her head, and she has to go.
DSS is so out of control, everybody is doing their own thing over there … Its been too much of a free for all for too long. The directors are the problem. DSS needs to be run like a well organized Navy Aircraft Carrier.

Soft Sigh from Hell September 10, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Is this possible/probable?

Ervin comes in second in three-way with no majority winner (majority of votes R and R-Lite, as per usual).

Ervin wins runoff (R-Lite being acceptable to R-only voters).

I am pretty naïve on these matters.

Nikki's former friend September 10, 2014 at 8:12 pm

For the sake of this State, let’s just hope Ervin is the next Governor!
We desperately need someone of morals, ethics, with enough experience and inteligence to get the job done right! haley has no redeeming attributes or abilities. She is a proven fleckless, incompetent liar!
It will take generations to overcome her incompetence and malfeasance.

Enough Damn It! September 10, 2014 at 8:33 pm

There is no run-off in a General Election. Biggest vote tally wins.

help September 10, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Gov. Haley. Please do something now! All of the deadweight Koller worshipers are still running the DSS show in Columbia along with the Regional Directors scattered throughout the State. Nothing will change until they are all fired and replaced with professionals who have actual Child Welfare Experience. Meanwhile, children and families continue to suffer!

Love Life September 10, 2014 at 8:54 pm

You are right. If you ask Paula Richardson, Malik Whitaker
Lenora Reese, Robert Brimmer and Elain Bailey what their primary roles at DSS and they will tell you I Don’t KNOW!! They don’t have a glue just like Haley. Ask yourself do we really need these clowns being regional team leaders when they don’t even know the work. Most of them never worked on the front line (going into the houses and getting their clean little hands dirty). As for Malik Whitaker someone need
Check his cridentials; I don’t think he is a real judge I really think he is a fraud. These people make me SICK they got where they are by their fancy talking, crazy right. If you don’t want your child; just get DSS to get rid of them for you…..MAKE A REPORT; they don’t know how to assess it ha ha ha ha…. They are a joke.

concerned September 11, 2014 at 8:41 am

I agree, Malick Whitaker is in over his head and has no clue other than running his mouth. His primary role is to threaten, intimidate, and bully workers until they leave.

concerned September 11, 2014 at 12:48 pm

But Whitaker says, “It’s not about trying to do any kind of PR. PR’s the wrong word to use for this. This is about listening, understanding what’s going on, understanding how the work is being received and then figuring out what we can do to get better, and what’s working well.” How long has he been a team leader…apparently he’s clue less.

Love Life September 11, 2014 at 2:55 pm

He came out of no where and have been talking crazy ever since. He is so stupid!! The clowns over him are just as stupid because they allow him to act stupid in meetings; saying that he is funny. He is a big fat monkey clown!! He let his big stupid performance coach Sally Branch take over and she as dumb as the days are long.

inthetrenches@dss September 11, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Lenora Reese……….No child welfare casework experience. She used to be the information resource consultant for DSS. Has never done a day of case-work in her life. Never thought she would drink the Kool-Aid. What a disappointment you are to your peers in Child Welfare.
Robert Brimmer…………………..Fired from DAODAS (Charleston Center) for having sex with a subordinate in his office. Let go by the Charleston County School District for God only knows what. Ran Berkeley County DSS into the ground. Promoted by Blanco (nuff said). Has never done a day of child welfare case-work in his life. What a loser. Staff @ DSS cannot stand the sight of this guy. And by the way, please stand up your wife wants to know where you are.
Malik Whitaker………..went to law school but can’t pass the bar. Most @ DSS wonder if he can read and/or write @ all. If you looked up incompetent in the dictionary his picture would be there. Zero child welfare experience. Hired by Blanco (nuff said). He is a joke state-wide not only inside DSS but with other Agencies/Providers as well.
Elaine Bailey. Fired as Greenville County Director. Sucked up to Blanco and Koller so bad all of DSS laughed @ her antics. Promoted by Blanco (nuff said). You bought into this Koller/Blanco BS, so now we all hope you take responsibility for what has happened to children and families in SC. You turned your back on those staff at DSS who worked so closely with you and supported you these many years. You must not sleep well @ night.

Love Life September 11, 2014 at 6:19 pm

This is a shame before GOD. Why don’t the people who really know child welfare have these jobs. There are rumors that Robert Brimmer is going with several women her hired one I’m particular Denise his performance coach ( the woman is a total waste of air in Charleston DSS. There are supervisors that knows way more than that chick and yet she just appeared from no where. Malik is a total disappointment. Elaine is do old she looks like she is in her last leg. When Blonco left DSS Koller and all her riff raff should have gone.

disgusted September 12, 2014 at 8:06 am

and then there is Paula Richardson the biggest control freak ever. Went from a supervisor straight to a regional team leader

DSS Shipwrecked By Haley September 10, 2014 at 11:59 pm

I agree 110%. Too many unqualified directors with little to no experience.

nitrat September 11, 2014 at 8:51 am

…and, the county directors that these regional directors have hired, too.

sicktomystomach September 10, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Amber and Jessica MUST GO! Word is they implemented policies while Koller still there, Koller left in May and they are still “playing at being head of a state agency”. Inexperienced, unqualified, won’t communicate with “underlings” (staff), and obviously hide behind any other person they can to be the rep for DSS that day. This is NO GAME, it’s children’s lives that are at state, and now we have five more gone! Haley has done NOTHING to get rid of people that came in from other states and are destroying lives in South Carolina, and destroying an agency. PLEASE, somebody do something! The public does not see ALL of this, and the public needs to know that Haley must also GO!

I'm sick to my stomach too... September 10, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Amen….and there are more that the media knows nothing about….truly sad!

RHood2 September 10, 2014 at 8:50 pm

I think using the death of these kids as political fodder is pretty low. I have liked Tom Ervin’s campaign to date. But this isn’t right.
How is Haley responsible for a DSS investigator making a bad call? Usually, they deal with people on the lower end of the spectrum, right? Not all that smart?
Coming across an educated guy might blow through their paradigms a bit. Nope.
This is low.

john September 11, 2014 at 5:59 am

She is morale responsible because it’s all about the numbers. Take less cases in to make SC foster Care System look good by reducing the number of children in care. A child life shouldn’t be about a number. This case should have staff, children should have been seen by a physician to determine if there were previous signs of abuse.

Thomas September 10, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Amber Jones, the mother, abandoned her husband, her marriage, and killed her kids when she went full tilt self indulgent, spending her husbands hard earned money while neglecting her children’s welfare engaging in an adulterous affair with her neighbor.

Their blood is on your hands, Amber Jones, you POS.

You stood content with your new life free from your matrimonial vows, without having to care for your children, without having to support your husband. Instead, sponging off a man who worked hard for his college degree, was faithful to his vows, loved his children enough to file for divorce to protect them from you, then try to raise them, pay for their needs, and love them despite your self serving demands to live your life of debauchery, you watched from a distance watching your husband flounder, to be destroyed by the unbelievable pressure and stress put on him by you, Amber Jones, because you ran out from your obligations, because you ran out from your kids..

Tom is telling the truth... September 10, 2014 at 9:37 pm

Kids are dying on DSS’s watch. Honestly I don’t blame the case workers. Massive case loads, Low pay and no oversight is what’s causing this mayhem at DSS.The senseless death of children when DSS is involved with a family is horrible.

Deo Vindice SC September 10, 2014 at 9:41 pm

It’s simple Haley thinks she’s smart. She married a flower planter. NOW YOU PAY !!! LOOL.

QT September 10, 2014 at 10:20 pm

I am voting for Tom Ervin in November. DSS does have many, many problems that need immediate attention. However, there is no way a caseworker could have read that man’s mind to know he was going to murder his children. The worker did go out and ruled there seemed to be no signs of abuse. No marks, no bruises. If you want workers to prevent this kind of thing from happening, you need to be passing out crystal balls.
I DO AGREE, we have serious problems starting at the top. We have no good leaders from the state house down through the counties. Supposedly DSS has asked for about 170 new caseworker positions that will be distributed state wide; and have also requested 70 something supervisors. GIVE ME A BREAK! We don’t need more supervisors, we need to clean house and get GOOD supervisors that know how to lead, not MORE! The state can hire all the caseworkers they want. When some are 2 new workers come in, 1-2 experienced workers leave. Partly in part to low pay, no incentive to stay, the lack of leadership, the overbearing workloads, etc.

QT September 10, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Tom Ervin, I challenge you to come to county DSS offices and talk with workers. I challenge you to find quality leaders. I challenge you to bring back longevity raises and cost of living raises for DSS. Teachers get raises each and every year. Why are DSS and other state employees NOT entitled to the same? We have workers that have been with the agency for more than 20 years who have never been promoted or received a raise for years of service. Can you honestly tell me that it is in any way fair for a worker with 5, 10 or 20 years of service to make the same rate of pay as someone who walks in the door doing the same job? THAT will give incentive for experienced workers, in all areas of the agency, to stay.

QT September 10, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Tom Ervin, I challenge you to come to county DSS offices and talk with workers. I challenge you to find quality leaders. I challenge you to bring back longevity raises and cost of living raises for DSS. Teachers get raises each and every year. Why are DSS and other state employees NOT entitled to the same? We have workers that have been with the agency for more than 20 years who have never been promoted or received a raise for years of service. Can you honestly tell me that it is in any way fair for a worker with 5, 10 or 20 years of service to make the same rate of pay as someone who walks in the door doing the same job? THAT will give incentive for experienced workers, in all areas of the agency, to stay.

@@@@@@@ September 11, 2014 at 12:01 am

DSS needs a director who has been an officer in the military and has an MBA.

@@@@@@@ September 11, 2014 at 12:03 am

251 children in 3 years … WOW!

Moneybuysanyoneinlexington September 11, 2014 at 9:05 am

Every single case that has gone through DSS under Haley’s direction, needs to be reinvestingated. There are children in Lexington county under the supervision of a parent with known mental illnesses and addictions also named a “good parent” by DSS. Their judgement should be questioned on each and every case!

Love Life September 11, 2014 at 2:59 pm

They have yo fire Greg frhonapple and his woman rosemary before the reinvestigation. They have been there in the way too long.

nitrat September 11, 2014 at 9:29 am

Those don’t sound like the child death numbers we have been hearing through all these months of scandal.

xx September 12, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Why do you people think a GOVERNMENT agency is responsible for the deaths of these children? What about their mother – she was willing to leave her babies for another man! What about the “concerned grandfather”, Tim Jones, Sr., and the uncle pictured in a news statement? Why didn’t they take a more active role in raising these children?

Here's why..... September 12, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Here’s why GOVERNMENT is tasked with PROTECTING the most vulnerable in our society…I hope this answers your question….

SECTION 63-7-10. Purpose.

(A) Any intervention by the State into family life on behalf of children must be guided by law, by strong philosophical underpinnings, and by sound professional standards for practice. Child welfare services must be based on these principles:

(1) Parents have the primary responsibility for and are the primary resource for their children.

(2) Children should have the opportunity to grow up in a family unit if at all possible.

(3) State and community agencies have a responsibility to implement prevention programs aimed at identifying high risk families and to provide supportive intervention to reduce occurrence of maltreatment.

(4) Services for families should be accessible and designed to encourage and enable families to adequately deal with their problems within their own family system.

(5) All child welfare intervention by the State has as its primary goal the welfare and safety of the child.

(6) Child welfare intervention into a family’s life should be structured so as to avoid a child’s entry into the protective service and foster care systems if at all possible.

(7) The state’s child welfare system must be designed to be child-centered, family-focused, community-based, and culturally competent in its prevention and protection efforts.

(8) Neighborhoods and communities are the primary source of opportunities and supports for families and have a primary responsibility in assuring the safety and vitality of their members.

(9) The Department of Social Services shall collaborate with the community to identify, support, and treat families in a nonthreatening manner, in both investigative and family assessment situations.

(10) A family assessment approach, stressing the safety of the child, building on the strengths of the family, and identifying and treating the family’s needs is the appropriate approach for cases not requiring law enforcement involvement or the removal of the child.

(11) Only a comparatively small percentage of current child abuse and neglect reports are criminal in nature or will result in the removal of the child or alleged perpetrator.

(12) Should removal of a child become necessary, the state’s foster care system must be prepared to provide timely and appropriate placements for children with relatives or in licensed foster care settings and to establish a plan which reflects a commitment by the State to achieving permanency for the child within reasonable timelines.

(13) The Department of Social Services staff who investigates serious child abuse and neglect reports with law enforcement must be competent in law enforcement procedures, fact finding, evidence gathering, and effective social intervention and assessment.

(14) Services should be identified quickly and should build on the strengths and resources of families and communities.

(B) It is the purpose of this chapter to:

(1) acknowledge the different intervention needs of families;

(2) establish an effective system of services throughout the State to safeguard the well-being and development of endangered children and to preserve and stabilize family life, whenever appropriate;

(3) ensure permanency on a timely basis for children when removal from their homes is necessary;

(4) establish fair and equitable procedures, compatible with due process of law to intervene in family life with due regard to the safety and welfare of all family members; and

(5) establish an effective system of protection of children from injury and harm while living in public and private residential agencies and institutions meant to serve them.


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