MORE TURMOIL FOR PALMETTO PORTS …
Three veteran employees of the S.C. State Ports Authority (SCSPA) were abruptly terminated from their positions on Friday, sources close to the agency tell us. In fact they were reportedly removed from their offices by armed guards of the quasi-state agency’s police force.
Steve Connor, the port’s former vice president of security; Rodger Chishek, the chief of port police; and one other employee – a former information technology specialist whose name we are working to confirm – were “terminated last Friday, March 4th, complete with police escorts,” according to one of our sources.
Each of the employees had been with the agency for more than a decade.
SCSPA officials refused to comment on what led to the terminations, merely confirming that the three employees had “left the port.”
Port watchers were incredulous …
“Why the sudden change?” one source asked. “What would lead to three high ranking employees of a quasi-state enterprise agency’s police force, one of those forces that keeps our ports safe from dirty and/or nuclear bombs, to be terminated, after hours, on a Friday evening, with a police escort?”
Good question …
Perhaps we should ask U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, who three years ago warned that the Port of Charleston would be the site of a nuclear holocaust in the event American troops did not invade Syria.
It’s been a terrible year for the SCSPA, which has seen its budget practices come under scrutiny in the wake of worsening performance data. Of course that’s not all SCSPA’s fault – it’s hard to stay competitive when your own state’s governor is working to help your competitors (ahem, Nikki Haley).
Things have gotten so bad at SCSPA that some mainstream media outlets in the Palmetto State are finally starting to pick up our narrative of the port’s precarious positioning – including some of the questionable expenses and dubious long-term plans we’ve brought to light in the past.
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: State government should not be in the business of running a port. We have no problem with taxpayers owning port infrastructure, but it’s abundantly clear at this point the government-run model of port management is a spectacular failure.
UPDATE: Some early details on the firings, which one source close to the port claims were “justified.”