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SCDEW Leader Departing




The leader of South Carolina’s scandal-scarred workforce agency is leaving her post to take a job with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

Cheryl Stanton – a New York attorney hired by former governor Nikki Haley back in May of 2013 – has been hired to lead the DOL’s wage and hour division, according to Bloomberg Law.  That’s the division that oversees minimum wage, overtime and family leave laws.

“Two sources told Bloomberg BNA that they’ve been briefed that Stanton has been tapped, but they were unclear how close the administration is to formally nominating her,” Bloomberg’s Ben Penn reported.  “A third source said Stanton is currently going through her FBI background check process. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity.”

A source close to Stanton in South Carolina confirmed the appointment to us.

“Took way longer than it should have,” the source said.  “She really is a rock star.”

Really?  We have a hard time agreeing with that assessment.  Just last spring, we broke a big story detailing major issues with a controversial unemployment benefits program run by the Staton’s agency, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW).  We also busted the agency a few years ago deliberately deceiving lawmakers regarding just how bad its budget situation had become.

Both of those stories broke during Stanton’s tenure – although to her credit she did inherit a dumpster fire at SCDEW thanks to the abysmal performance of Haley’s first director, Abraham Turner.

The agency’s financial situation has markedly improved – although as we noted in this exclusive report it has replenished its unemployment insurance (UI) trust fund on the backs of South Carolina small businesses.

Stanton made headlines two months ago when she was nearly fired by S.C. governor Henry McMaster for mocking him in the aftermath of the death of his beloved bulldog, “Boots.”

McMaster will appoint Stanton’s successor.  According to our sources, one potential candidate for the job is S.C. Manufacturing Alliance leader Lewis Gossett. Gossett was a cabinet director under former S.C. governor David Beasley.

It’s not clear, however, whether Gossett would be interested in taking such a position given his prominent role with the manufacturers.



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