SC

Nikki Haley’s Welfare Agency Hit With Major Lawsuit

COMPLAINT CONTAINS HORROR STORIES OF ABUSE, NEGLECT …  || By FITSNEWS || The hits just keep-a-coming for S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley‘s embattled Department of Social Services (SCDSS) … Less than a year after Haley effusively praised the agency’s former director in her State of the State speech, the scandal-scarred bureaucracy –…

COMPLAINT CONTAINS HORROR STORIES OF ABUSE, NEGLECT … 

|| By FITSNEWS || The hits just keep-a-coming for S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley‘s embattled Department of Social Services (SCDSS) …

Less than a year after Haley effusively praised the agency’s former director in her State of the State speech, the scandal-scarred bureaucracy – relentlessly exposed from 2011-13 by this website – has been slapped with a major lawsuit over its mistreatment of the state’s most vulnerable young people.

“As a direct result of longstanding, well-documented failures, plaintiff children have been and continue to be harmed physically, psychologically and emotionally and continue to be placed at ongoing risk of such harms while in (SCDSS) custody,” the suit alleged, adding that the agency is “re-victimizing the very children it is charged to protect.”

Hard to argue with that …

The lawsuit comes seven months after the long-overdue resignation of Haley’s “rock star” political appointee to lead this agency, Lillian Koller, and three months after SCDSS was blasted by a state audit.

According to that report’s findings, SCDSS has a poorly trained, unqualified workforce dealing with excessive caseloads, bad data and incomplete reporting.  The agency has also allegedly manipulated screening procedures for child abuse and neglect investigations – “reforms” that have unnecessarily placed children’s lives in danger.

How has Haley handled the problems?  Poorly.  Rather than attempting to implement reforms, she’s actually attacked the reformers trying to fix the agency (including her longtime political ally, S.C. Sen. Katrina Shealy).

Haley’s strategy has only compounded the damage …

“Just read the stories of the representative children in the complaint,” said Matthew Richardson, one of the attorneys who filed the suit.  “Thankfully, some were willing to have their story told and their next friends were willing to stand up publicly to show what we all already suspected.”

Richardson is correct: The stories are horrific …

According to the suit, one fifteen-year-old girl was “placed in a group facility where food was often expired or moldy, girls were denied basic hygiene products, and conditions were unsanitary and in disrepair – feces remained on the shower floor for over a month during her placement.”

Meanwhile a six-year-old girl was “forced to go up to the church altar against her will for an extremely long period in a ceremony that would remove the devil from (her) soul.”

Wow …

A twelve-year-old boy also reported suffering physical violence at the hands of his “caretakers” in one of these group homes.

“Staff verbally and physically abused him – grabbing him by the arms, slamming him on the ground and dragging him across the floor,” the complaint reads.

In all of the cases, SCDSS is accused of failing to properly investigate the complaints.

“This is literally a matter of life and death for innocent children across South Carolina,” Richardson added.  “We have ethical, moral, and Constitutional obligations to the children of our state, and we must live up to these obligations and do the right thing for them now.”

Sadly, that’s a trend that’s extended to the state’s mainstream media … which failed to properly investigate this agency.

Last spring, South Carolina’s MSM finally got around to confirming a shocking story that was published by this website in the summer of 2013.  We’re referring of course to the tragic tale of Robert Guinyard Jr., a four-year-old boy who was placed in an abusive home by SCDSS despite repeated warnings about his safety.

One week after Guinyard’s death, FITS published a story indicating SCDSS put the boy back into the home even though his mother explicitly said she didn’t want him there – and even though a relative was attempting to gain custody of him in an effort to provide him with a safe place to live.

On July 1, 2013, Guinyard was brutally murdered in his home by his own parents, 28-year-old Robert Antonio Guinyard and 25-year-old Courtney Shante Thompson.

We called on Haley to fire Koller in the aftermath of that tragedy – not just because there was actual blood on the agency’s hands, but because the Guinyard tragedy was the latest in a long line of examples of her unfitness for office.

SCDSS has been an unmitigated disaster since Haley took office in 2011 – most notably as it relates to these instances in which vulnerable children were repeatedly placed in abusive homes.

Beyond that, there’s the agency’s ongoing failure with regard to the state’s child support enforcement database – or its total lack of follow-through regarding a food stamp waiver touted by Haley in her so-called “war on fat.” There are also questionable consultant payments and allegations of cooked books at its “welfare to work” program (as well as its food stamp system).

(For a recent report detailing one of these scams, CLICK HERE).

Reforms have already been proposed for SCDSS in the upcoming legislative session – including one bill recommending a complete overhaul of the agency.

Let’s hope lawmakers take that sort of drastic action.  Protecting the most vulnerable among us deserves real systemic reform, not more of the same old “reform in name only” and throwing more money at problems in the hopes they will go away.

PRESS RELEASE (.pdf)
PLAINTIFF SUMMARIES (.pdf)
LAWSUIT (.pdf)

***

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45 comments

Elfego January 12, 2015 at 1:42 pm

This happens all over the country which is no excuse but with government running the show it cannot be stopped anymore than all the fraud that is within the government! If we are honest with ourselves government no longer does anything right or well!

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nitrat January 12, 2015 at 2:39 pm

You need to read some of the attachments. Many of the complaints refer to PRIVATE agencies that DSS has farmed its work out to to develop crony capitalist campaign contributors.
Privatization is the enemy of agency accountability.

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john January 13, 2015 at 7:16 am

That’s what the REPUBLICAN PARTY calls reducing state government take bodies and job position from DSS and contract the job out and receive shitty service.

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Government is good January 12, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Thing is, putting a twat licker in charge of the DSS scored Haley some Libtard points.

It doesn’t matter how the department was run, because Libs will always be crying for more money from the goodness of their heart. More money solves all problems, well, that, and putting a Liberal in charge.

They could be tossing kids into a tree shredder and it wouldn’t matter. The DSS is never going away, period. It’s now a tool for favor dealing and vote getting.

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Rakkasan January 12, 2015 at 5:24 pm

Seems like it was “Libtards” who actually did something about this other than talk

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Government is good January 12, 2015 at 8:54 pm

What did they do?

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jimlewisowb January 12, 2015 at 1:50 pm

Wonder at what point Alford will awaken to the fact that she was selected solely for the purpose of going down with the shiip

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southmauldin January 12, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Sorta like Ellis Johnson at Southern Miss. But I’m glad this lawsuit was filed and the state will pay millions to Haley’s handpicked lawyer friends to lose this case. I just wish Koller would somehow end up in jail over this.

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Tim January 12, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Should be interesting to see both Haley and Koller testify under oath in their depositions. Once the case is over they should be available via FOIA. That is unless they settle the case before they even testify, such a settlement would be very telling in my opinion.

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I Swear! January 12, 2015 at 5:36 pm

“Under oath” doesn’t mean shit to sociopaths.

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euwe max January 12, 2015 at 7:17 pm

Yeah, but won’t they go to hell?

Rakkasan January 12, 2015 at 5:44 pm

See “The State” where in Comments section to the lawsuit article the former DSS director welcomes Ms Alford to the agency. Sweet!

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euwe max January 12, 2015 at 1:55 pm

In a previous article with the same photo, someone noted that the hug was “hips in”

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I know, right? January 12, 2015 at 1:58 pm

That would be me. It’s not just the white meat she loves, it’s BBC too.

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euwe max January 13, 2015 at 1:45 pm

She watches PBS?

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aikencounty January 12, 2015 at 6:25 pm

Rock the “man in the boat”

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john January 12, 2015 at 1:55 pm

If it wasn’t all about the NUMBERS FOR POLITICAL GAIN I WOULD AGREE WITH YOU. Reducing local staff to bring in campaign donors family member to DSS state office, bogus contact where nothing is being done, lieing about hiring staff and there is no staff being hired. SC DSS turn over rate is sky rocking everyday More cases and no more pay. Living about employee in HUMAN SERVICES RECEIVE A 10% increase knowing it was temporary ending in JUNE 31. JACKASS BELIEVE that DSS find 25000 people jobs….lmaofa

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a face in the crowd January 12, 2015 at 2:07 pm

And Haley is still babbling about the need for ethics reform to anyone who will listen. People get the government they deserve.

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a face in the crowd January 12, 2015 at 2:39 pm

I should rephrase: Adults get the government they deserve. Children can only hope for the best.

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Smirks January 12, 2015 at 7:04 pm

18 years of getting beaten in the face, and then the cranky old folks start blaming you that everything’s gone to shit.

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Uh huh January 13, 2015 at 9:59 am

“Adults get the government they deserve. “, aka “Blame the victim”.

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GrandTango January 12, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Duh…Liberal-tarins triangulate…and liberals litigate, after being deemed unfit to legislate….Dumb@$$….

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Saluda Rapids January 12, 2015 at 2:15 pm

You gave a weak excuse for explaining why the SCPSD has come to a screeching halt. How about you get things cooking again by investigating the tards “you” helped elect (starting with your unethical Hindu goddess).

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GrandTango January 12, 2015 at 4:40 pm

You seem to be very pre-occupied w/ whether you see me as failing, or not. I can HONESTLY say I don’t, and NEVER, hope any of you fail in your personal lives.

I hate, I DESPISE, what you represent politically. I think you are unjust, corrupt and worst of all, dangerous to the country. But I don’t personally hate any of you..or wish you, or your families, trouble…

I pray your soul is well, but I hope ALL of your leftwing, America-hating, Greedy liberal politicians fail in office, because you hurt us all…But I hope they get jobs, and prosper as Americans, after being rejected by voters….

I’m not failing, thank God….but I have suffered under the miserable Obama-conomy as millions of Americans have….

Other than that: I have a wonderful life…and I’ve expanded to some business ventures that actually take advantage of the mess Obama has made, and I serve those he has damaged…..again: I thank God for opening those doors…

I’m very upbeat…and thrilled w/ the results of Nov. 4…and I think Obama has so damaged the Democrat Party…and McCain-FITS-Christie have so revealed themselves…Conservative is a growth industry…Thank the LORD….

So if your hope in my misery is what buoys you and some others, I’m doing well. And I pray I continue to be blessed. I just don’t think you’re going to get much satisfaction from my plight.

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Rakkasan January 12, 2015 at 5:22 pm

GT: You gotta stop all this repressing, stuffing, internalizing. You’re gonna get sick. It’s bad for your health. Your head will explode. Wait…what?

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Kenny! January 12, 2015 at 5:43 pm

????you gotta know when to fold them
Know when the hold ’em…????

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Buz Martin January 12, 2015 at 6:06 pm

Oh, please. Stop pretending to be a human being. It’s not you, Lawrence. It’s not you at all.

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a face in the crowd January 12, 2015 at 2:47 pm

Another depressing aspect of this story is that it serves as a reminder of just how stereotypically backwards Haley and her cronies are. In the past week or so, news items have addressed disregard for the welfare of children, disregard for the arts, crumbling roads and infrastructure, and lack of regard for education.

The year is 2015.

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South Carolina is a Cesspool January 12, 2015 at 3:51 pm

And the state legislature’s cronies are not getting in on the band wagon to push for an increase in gasoline taxes. The Post and Courier ran a story this past weekend about the Charleston Chamber of Commerce advocating for a .25 cents per gallon increase in gasoline taxes. Those people are nothing more than a tool of the out of control criminal corruption in South Carolina. Everyone of them are advocates for the I-526 extension boondoggle because it will put green in their own pockets if it is built.

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Rakkasan January 12, 2015 at 5:42 pm

And they couldn’t have filed this BEFORE the election? Nothing to support the things “Face” mentions but plenty of bucks to give away to her drug company buddies–and others. In SC, “pay to play” means that the taxpayers pay and Nikki and cronies get to play.

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South Carolina is Cesspool January 12, 2015 at 3:42 pm

I don’t personally know if DSS is a mess and these allegations in the body of the lawsuit are true or not, but based on what I know about other state agencies being corrupt and messed up, I would not be surprised.
.
South Carolina government is, and has been, for the most part – ‘fucked up.’ Even the state legislature is a cesspool of criminal activities. We must bring all of these government cronies to justice, and punished them. We can depend on no one, but ourselves. Certainly the local SC federal prosecutor and local FBI agents are not doing much of anything about the white collar crime wave in the palmetto state. And we pay them good money for what? To sit around, drink coffee and eat donuts all day?

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Soft Sigh from Hell January 12, 2015 at 6:39 pm

“Even the state legislature is a cesspool of criminal activities.”

Personally, I’d drop the “even.”

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Overpaid Government Employees January 12, 2015 at 5:28 pm

Haley has no business being in charge of anything. And the General Assembly is full of psychopaths looking to profit from being in office. In a similar matter: Hundreds of child abuse and neglect deaths hushed up in Texas. Over the last five years Texas’ Child Protective Services underreported 655 deaths of children from abuse or neglect by their parents.

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GrandTango January 12, 2015 at 7:08 pm

They are suing TAXPAYERS. ..and FITS the Liberal-tarian is getting off on highly irresponsible, corrupt liberals being even more GREEDY.

What does that tell you?

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euwe max January 12, 2015 at 7:14 pm

That you need to up your meds?

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nitrat January 13, 2015 at 9:08 am

Or, sober up.

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Smirks January 12, 2015 at 8:19 pm

They are suing TAXPAYERS

Sucks, doesn’t it? Too bad we can’t limit these court battle costs to just the assholes who voted for Nikki.

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FastEddy23 January 12, 2015 at 8:24 pm

FITS: keep pounding them!

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rdj January 12, 2015 at 10:35 pm

I’ve gotten where I enjoy reading the comments in here. But … I have a question now … If most everyone worked for the government or lived off the government what would happen if the rest of us said … enough of this shit !

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joh January 13, 2015 at 7:19 am

Well government Employees line workers are paid nothing. BUT I guess you are happy to see Contracts providers being paid 55 million for f***** work instead of paying or increasing employees pay.

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rdj January 13, 2015 at 7:23 am

No actually im hoping the working middle class man can one day feel like his taxes arent being pissed away …

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john January 13, 2015 at 9:10 am

Well honey you will really be piss ed to learn your tax dollars are thrown up the money ass by Gov Haley and DSS FORMER STATE DIRECTOR. JUMMP CONTRACTOR TO CONTACT AFDC CASE MANAGEMENT 12 MILLION DSS CASE MANGER $29,000. HAVING DSS CONTRACTOR MONITOR 31,000 OUTSIDE VENDOR 6 MILLION, HUMAN SERVICES CONTRACTOR OUTSIDE UP TO 55 MILLION. ASK FOR OUR REVIEW CONTRACTOR DEAL ON SC BUDGET AND CONTROL WEBSITE.

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rdj January 13, 2015 at 9:42 am

Two things ….
One I’m not your honey
Two it sounds like an overwhelming job to oversee. To bad we cant find someone who could do a good enough job to keep kids from dying.

Larry Bishop January 12, 2015 at 11:41 pm

South Carolina voters put the evil witch back in office now shut the fuck up and live with it.

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truthmonger January 14, 2015 at 12:56 am

ROCK STAR!!!!!!! ROCK STAR!!!!!!

Reply

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