SCDHEC In “Chaos”

NIKKI HALEY’S “SHADOW DIRECTOR” WREAKING HAVOC || By FITSNEWS || During her tenure at the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), Catherine Templeton turned the state’s largest bureaucracy into a leaner (some say meaner) instrument of efficient government.  She also dramatically upgraded its responsiveness and accountability – restructuring…


|| By FITSNEWS || During her tenure at the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), Catherine Templeton turned the state’s largest bureaucracy into a leaner (some say meaner) instrument of efficient government.  She also dramatically upgraded its responsiveness and accountability – restructuring it from within and putting competent managers in positions previously held by incompetent bureaucrats and political appointees.

In the process she won high marks from environmentalists, business leaders … and taxpayer advocates (including this website).

Templeton also won praise for her handling of the Ebola threat – including showing up at a Charleston-area hospital pretending to be a patient with symptoms of the disease in an effort to gauge its response capability.

Talk about hands-on …

Less than two months after her departure from the agency, though, things have deteriorated … quickly.

The public has been focused on the botched nomination of Eleanor Kitzman – a body blow to the administration of Nikki Haley (who tapped Kitzman to replace Templeton earlier this year).

But according to our sources at the agency, the real story is agency’s rapid disintegration into chaos in Templeton’s absence.

First of all … who is running SCDHEC?

Technically there’s an interim director in place, but our sources say the real power is being wielded by Jamie Shuster – former gubernatorial budget manager and girlfriend of Haley’s longtime media advisor, Rob Godfrey.

“She’s the ‘shadow director,'” one source told us.

How’s that arrangement working out?

Not well … at all.

Most of SCDHEC’s top staff left either in anticipation – or in the aftermath – of Templeton’s departure.  The only one who didn’t leave?  Shuster – who was personally dispatched by Haley to SCDHEC in 2012 (ostensibly so the governor could keep tabs on Templeton, whose political ascendency she views as a threat to her influence).

Shuster was also dispatched to help mitigate fallout from the “Savannah River Sellout,” in which the governor’s SCDHEC appointees reversed an agency decision regarding permissions for Georgia’s Savannah harbor expansion project.

Remember that?  We do … 

Whatever her job was when she arrived three years ago, Shuster is “single handedly destroying the agency” now, we’re told.

“She was always a serious problem but (Templeton) managed to keep her contained,” one source told us.  “Now she’s out of the cage, running wild – and running more and more of us away with each day that goes by.”

In fact a source who recently resigned from SCDHEC tells FITS the exodus of staff at the agency has picked up steam (and reportedly extended to professional, non-political ranks) as Shuster seeks to impose her will on subordinates.

In addition to being ineffective, these efforts are of dubious legality in light of the vacuum of duly appointed executive authority at the agency.

“There is no one with the authority to do anything over there – creating some real difficulties legislatively,” one source familiar with the drama told FITS.

Shuster is claiming this authority as her own, though – citing her history with the governor.

“She is invoking Nikki’s name left and right,” one source said.  “She is telling everyone she is protected by Nikki – that Nikki will back her no matter what.”

Wonderful … we know how that works, right?

We’re also informed Shuster’s behavior has been “increasingly erratic and threatening” in recent weeks, causing some of her subordinates to question whether she has “some sort of undiagnosed personality disorder.”

Wow …

Where is all this heading?  It’s unclear … but SCDHEC – which three months ago was among the most well-run, widely respected agencies in government – is clearly a powder keg at the moment.


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GrandTango March 25, 2015 at 10:59 am

You DEMANDED we empower a state-based version of the EPA…

Now you’re complaining about Wreaking Havoc???…Isn’t that what y’all wanted???…

You hated her appointee…now you’re B!tching after you got what you Demanded…

Can’t please you leftwing Dumb@$$#$…

Wade Hampton March 25, 2015 at 11:01 am

There is no greater staff exodus from any agency that compares to the Treasurer’s office. 20-25 people in the last 18 months alone. The Investment department all left and another department head just quit. The Treasurer’s office is in meltdown mode.

GrandTango March 25, 2015 at 11:09 am

Wow…government gravy-train riding bureauc-Rats jumping ship…Hallelujah…That’s got to reduce waste, and cut the Dept. budget…

We need a Loftis heading EVERY agency…to get rid of the dead weight, slurping off the people’s teat…

That’s why I elected him…Thank you Mr. Treasurer…

Enough already! March 25, 2015 at 11:14 am

You and Loftis, both can go chug bleach and die. Mentally ill shit heads have run this state into the ground. Incompetent bureaucrats run off competent talent due to their own insecurities.

Faye March 25, 2015 at 1:29 pm

You sound like a fat lazy state employee that has lost the paid vacation called a state job!
Everybody should, that is why they call it work!

Keep up the good work Mr. treasurer!

Enough Already! March 25, 2015 at 2:07 pm

You sound like a fat self-righteous cunt! Maybe you should make some improvements on yourself?

Ted March 25, 2015 at 5:25 pm

I am perfect.

Ted & Faye are Curtis March 26, 2015 at 9:54 am

Amazing that “Ted” comes to “Faye’s” defense here. Geesh, Curt, you really are transparent. So transparent that we now see Ted & Faye truly are you, too.

Marge March 26, 2015 at 12:02 pm

Fat lazy people by anytime are always bitter and causing problems! In government, business, or the biscuit store!

Government needs happy people that want to learn and serve.

Dan March 26, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Fat lazy cunts and fags do not make a good office!

Exactly! Thank you! March 26, 2015 at 6:56 pm

Exactly! That’s why we are trying to remove Curtis! You finally caught up with us. Now try to keep up and not get lost agan. We can’t keep slowing down and spelling it out for you. We have a lot of work to do to restore some integrity to the STO. So please, do us all a favor and run along now, back to curtland and your imaginary friends. They’re waiting for you.

not at STO March 26, 2015 at 4:47 pm

You sure as hell won’t find them in the STO. Curtis only poorer bitter, unhappy employees. That’s why he treats them like shit.

Albert Schweitzer March 25, 2015 at 6:58 pm

“Incompetent bureaucrats run off competent talent due to their own insecurities.”

Happens again and again and again. I have seen it far too many times (but it was not at STO).

Cleo March 26, 2015 at 12:00 pm

To change the culture of an agency one has to do it at the top. Change the top people, retrain everyone else, and life is very good.
Public service is too important to have a handful of employees at near retirement age kill the spirit and opportunity of an office.

Mark March 25, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Damn Skippy. Good job Loftis!

Fire the bad state workers, promote and give pay raises to the good ones.

Cut the dead wood out!

General Assembly/Governor March 25, 2015 at 2:09 pm

True statement, but we should start with the “dead wood” occupying the State House.

Ellen March 25, 2015 at 1:26 pm

Loftis is doing what he said he would do!

He is building the most efficient Treasurer’s office in America. So, some people that won’t work or won’t follow the rules are leaving. Exactly what the Treasurer wants. And of course some people are retiring as planned.

I have known Loftis for 30 years, and if you work for him you are going to give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay! And since he is paying with my tax dollars I am very happy!

Dan March 25, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Hell, I have heard of state employees stealing their boss’s password and use it to gain info. Sometime cutting and pasting them on the internet.

State employees like that needs go, because that is illegal. We only need honest state employees.

Faye March 25, 2015 at 5:25 pm

I worked for the state for 30 years. 20% ought to be fired, the remaining 80% should get their pay.
There are truly great public employees, then there are lazy asses and the lazy asses ought not have tax dollars paying them for nothing!

Albert Scweitzer March 25, 2015 at 6:55 pm

There is also a conspicuous, if not very large, proportion of the stump dumb too.

Dan March 26, 2015 at 11:57 am

Yes, and that of course is a criminal offense. I heard of one case where a former employee used a password as a ‘comments name!” Shocking that he would like himself to a federal and state crime. But haters going to hate, that is what they do!

Arnie March 25, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Hi Curtis!

Scott March 25, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Some government employees are smart, just lazy as hell. Thin them out and pay the good ones better!

guest March 25, 2015 at 7:04 pm

Yes, and the smart ones are leaving in droves. Nobody is going to be left here before long. The tenure has already been lost. Nothing but newbies who dont know a thing other than what Loftis promised them. They are slowly finding out the promises are as empty as Curtis’s brain.

Kyle March 26, 2015 at 11:55 am

Loftis is developing the best team in state government. He is using some folks that have been around a long time, some new ones. He is engaged in important computer conversions to update ancient systems…you name it and it is all good.

Now, the fat and stupid that cant work a full day are mad. They spend a lot of time writing shit on the internet, but who cares about that. I want my money protected and Loftis is building the operation to do just that!

linda March 26, 2015 at 3:01 pm

You were a fat cunt that was lazy as hell. Gal you left it your smelly ass.

Capt March 26, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Keep up the god work Mr. Treasure. Reform that place. Get rid of the lazy and the dumb and return pride to public service!

Waiting patiently March 26, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Yes, curt, keep getting rid of them. We are waiting to see how you run that office without any knowledge of the day to day work flow. Your ego has done you in this time. It’s all about to implode.

Guest March 25, 2015 at 11:28 am

You’ve been claiming a mass exodus at DHEC since Haley installed Templeton there. Yet, somehow it soldiers on. Anyway, nothing is going on there that is contrary to SC law as I know that DHEC General Counsel Marshall Taylor would not permit that to happen. And that’s a fact, Jack.

Albert Schweitzer March 25, 2015 at 6:53 pm

“nothing is going on there that is contrary to SC law as I know that DHEC General Counsel Marshall Taylor would not permit that to happen”

The long-time MO with the high-up entrenched bureaucrats there is simply not to tell the director (formerly commissioner) the truth, or at least not the whole truth.

Fecal Matters March 25, 2015 at 11:29 am

God, imagine being the poor SOB that has to tap Kitzman.

Former Senate Employee March 25, 2015 at 12:36 pm

One high ranking upstate Senator may disagree with you!

sparklecity March 25, 2015 at 11:43 am

If it’s truly that bad contact your local state represenative and demand an investigation
Simple as that……..

FastEddy23 March 25, 2015 at 12:07 pm

“… Department of Health and Environmental Control …”

Gotta love it. Control freaks, fur sure … as if they can control anything … like the weather.

mr. webb March 25, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Shuster is an absolute moron. I’ve met her a few times, and have been in meetings with her. In those meetings, she kept her head buried in her laptop, and never uttered a word.

Former Haley Suporter March 25, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Haley is an absolute moron for pushing Kitzman and leaving Shuster to wreak havoc! So what is new with Haley’s appointments, nominees, friends being placed in positions they are incompetent to manage?
Haley has single handed destroyed many successful, competent, responsible and properly functioning agencies and programs.
Haley the failure, just like Obana.
You were warned!

Haley=Obama haha March 25, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Haley most definitely is a failure. Obama sucks too, but he cant hold a candle to Haley. Worse gov in the country.

Albert Schweitzer March 25, 2015 at 7:06 pm

“In those meetings, she kept her head buried in her laptop, and never uttered a word.”

I’ve had some other middle managers over there described the same way.

MissScarlett July 11, 2015 at 1:56 pm

That she is. But she’s even worse when she opens that trap of hers. She couldn’t get along with the pope.

DHEC Food tester March 25, 2015 at 12:50 pm

“some sort of undiagnosed eating disorder.”

*edited for accuracy

Inside the Dome March 25, 2015 at 2:11 pm

I’ve called this from the beginning. In a manner of weeks another of Nikki’s cabinet directors is gonna take over DHEC. Bryan Stirling was the leading candidate but he turned it down so it’s gonna fall to Rick Reames or Christian Soura. Likely Soura …. Wait and see.

Albert Schweitzer March 25, 2015 at 6:22 pm

The application deadline is tomorrow. How long the wait then?

Iftheyonlyknew March 25, 2015 at 7:15 pm

Soura? He’s neck deep in cleaning up Tony Keck and John Supra’s mess at SCDHHS. Sic should really go FOIA crazy and look into all the contracts entered into to privatize state Medicaid. BCBSSC and the MCOs are making out like bandits.

Shuster, whenever she comes out of her cave, always has this glint of batshit crazy in her eyes… along with a look of needing to take a really good dump.

nitrat March 25, 2015 at 3:39 pm

And, the nameless board is not doing a thing about it?
The only goddamned thing a board/commission member of any fucking entity in this state seems to care about is the special license tags.
Do away with them and we might not have the pathetic scum we have on these boards.

USCfaculty March 25, 2015 at 4:01 pm

Second that from the university of South Carolina where provost and deans leave or ‘are not renewed’ and nothing happens. 2 major colleges are without an official interim! National member of academy of engineering leaves … And the president? Cheerleading and working for NCAA. What board ?

Guest March 25, 2015 at 4:20 pm

WTF care about your little academy? You job is to win national championships and STFU! They need to make sport event mandatory for fuckulty and take part of their salary for not showing up. Pastides is doing what he is told.

. March 25, 2015 at 4:28 pm

USC – meanwhile try getting into classes or advisement with the increased numbers of students admitted to pay the Pastides’ bills. Only the clueless are sending offspring/$$ to USC.

guest March 25, 2015 at 6:11 pm

you still don’t get it do you:
It does not matter what the “little academy by the river” does. Your rankings with the exception of the business school and the football, baseball and basketball teams DOES NOT MATTER!!!!
You need to get on board of the Pastides train or leave. He is the best thing that ever happened to this university and he will continue to ignore and cut down all you little scholars, academics and pretenders. Go gamecocks and to h.ll with the fuckulty.

STO March 25, 2015 at 4:57 pm

If you think things are bad at DHEC then you should see the meltdown over here at the treasurers office. Dozens have left and a dozen more are looking. Curtis and his mini-me are both incompetent tyrants and have ruined a once great office.

Long time friend March 25, 2015 at 5:22 pm

Curtis is doing what he promised. He is creating the most efficient Treasurer’s office in America. This means some people simply will not make the cut. Of course, there are retirements, etc. But if you work for Curtis, you are going to WORK. That is why I voted for him!

Mark March 25, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Good for the Treasurer. Get rid of the deadwood and give raises to the good ones! That is the American way!

If you accept a days pay you ought to give a days labor.

STO March 25, 2015 at 7:24 pm

Tough to call people deadwood that Curtis hires himself. Most of the people who have resigned in the last few weeks have been hires he has made. And there’s more to come. So either Curtis is too incompetent a manager to hire good people or Curtis is a tyrant that good people don’t want to work for. It’s one or the other.

Ted March 26, 2015 at 11:50 am

Lies, lies and more lies!

Whistleblower March 25, 2015 at 7:30 pm

It’s not surprising that a lot of professionals are leaving the Treasurer’s Office like the plague is about to hit them square between the eyes. The amount of questionable activity that has taken place raises numerous red flags.

There’s significant evidence of fraudulent activity coming from the State Treasurer’s Office. How was the Treasurer’s Office able to pay the Bank of New York Mellon’s custody bill’s last summer and fall? Were funds diverted from other agencies and budgets such as DMV funds? Do Chief of Staff Clarissa Adams’ initials appear on the approval form for the diversion of these funds? How much did this six figure payment cost? Did the legislature give approval in the state budget? Why has so much money been diverted from Unclaimed Property this year? Did Curtis or Clarissa approve this transaction? What is it paying for? Why have fees increased so much in the Local Government Investment Program? What are they paying for? Who are the contract employees making hundreds of dollar every hour they work to implement an IT system? Have there been cost overruns? How much did settling the Amick case cost the taxpayer? Did Curtis break the law? Did he settle it to avoid it coming up the primary?How much does the State still owe the Bank of New York? Why does the State owe money after the lawsuit was settled? Did the settlement funds come in as cash? Or was it a reduction in the amount the State owes Bank of New York?

The curator March 28, 2015 at 7:10 pm

Could you contact me. I’m interested.
Thecurator 1011 @

Sam March 26, 2015 at 2:50 pm

My buddy Curt is doing a great job. He is renovating staff, re-training the existing and hiring financial specialist to move the Treasurer’s office into a position of national prominence.

sam is curt March 26, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Blah blah blah. Curt, you’re silliness is getting old and boring.

Soft Sigh from Hell March 25, 2015 at 6:09 pm

Not to worry. Jenny will soon fix it.

Oh Really????? March 25, 2015 at 9:43 pm

” showing up at a Charleston-area hospital pretending to be a patient with symptoms of the disease in an effort to gauge its response capability” … ummmm, yeah. Attention seeking twit. Can we say “Narcissist”??? That entire episode was a ludicrous. The woman is fucked up, I say. But only keen minds can see that. Some young people are still blind as bats!

nitrat March 26, 2015 at 8:46 am

She caused thousands of dollars of unnecessary medical dollars to be spent – paid for by the SC state employees insurance plan + some written off by the hospital per their contract w/the insurer – for a political stunt…a POLITICAL STUNT.
Did she pay her ER co-pay? Was she reimbursed for it by DHEC directly or some padding of the expense account?
Where are the journalists with half a brain in this state?
I don’t give a fuck about another narcissistic SCGOPer politician.
I care about the state of SC continuously getting robbed blind by them.

oh, please... March 26, 2015 at 6:45 pm

She was not seen by any medical staff nor was any charge incurred. She simply checked a random point of entry to find out if that person had been informed on how to handle potential ebola patients. Hospital executives were saying they were ready and some staff were reporting they had not be trained in the matter.

Manray9 March 25, 2015 at 11:09 pm

Someone tell me — is there a part of the SC government not in chaos?

CivilTiger March 26, 2015 at 6:50 am

Is it Shuster or Shuler? The article goes back and forth several times. Also, this is the first time I’ve heard a positive take on Templeton’s tenure at SCHEC. As someone who works with SCDHEC regularly her tenure has been described to me exactly the way you described Shuster’s. It’s time we have a leader with at least a minute understanding of the agency’s duties and maybe even a little applicable experience. We need someone who intends to stay a while – not someone capitalizing on a political/career stepping stone.

nitrat March 26, 2015 at 8:36 am

If you have not heard anything positive about Templeton, about how she has gone from a drunken slut to the ONLY challenger who can take down Mark Sanford in SC1, you don’t read this blog nearly enough.

LBD March 26, 2015 at 7:19 pm

I’ve had the pleasure of being Catherine’s friend for over 20 years, and she’s not a drunk or a slut. Far from it. Just the same few perpetuating the same lies over and over. Sour grapes I presume.

Albert Schweitzer March 26, 2015 at 8:17 pm

Quite a number of the lower-level folks at DHEC who dealt with CT were impressed by her and appreciated her interest in their programs. They in general do not hold these same feelings for many of their middle managers, the entrenched long-time bureaucrats who are still there.

truthanyone??? March 26, 2015 at 11:09 pm

Really Fits???? Have you forgotten about the TB incident that Catherine claimed not to know anything about until she was told to produce email……I bet those parents haven’t forgotten……have you actually looked at salaries than have been added to that organization to replace those you mentioned, and the qualifications of those replacements?…do your homework Fits

Timmy Tebow March 27, 2015 at 10:51 am

All will be solved when Jenny Sanford becomes the next SC DHEC director.
As Bart Scott says, “Can’t Wait!”

suckertaxpayer March 27, 2015 at 11:28 am

Is this the very same Shuster whose mother has had a no work free paycheck position at SCDHHS for years. I think so… Hey FITS Check it out.

Richard Rawlins March 28, 2015 at 3:17 pm

I work at DHEC and unless you work there also you have NO IDEA how bad things are. No one can or will make decision. Money is being spent like it was water. A decision made this week will be totally changed next week.


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