BREAKING: Columbia's Ides of March

UPDATED: (SEE BELOW)

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has appointed Lexington attorney Tommy Cofield to the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees.  The office of the board confirms that Mr. Cofield’s tenure began on March 10, 2011.

Sources outside of the University tell me that Cofield is replacing businesswoman and philanthropist Darla Moore. In 1998, Moore donated $25 million to her alma mater’s business school which was subsequently named the Darla Moore School of Business.  In 2005, Moore donated another $45 million to the school.  She has been on the USC Board since 1999.

UPDATE 2: Cofield and his sister (and law partner) Amy, donated $9,000 to Haley’s gubernatorial campaign.  Moore contributed $1,000 to former Superintendent of Education Jim Rex’s failed bid to win the Democratic nomination for Governor.

Sources are also saying that Governor Haley has named Charleston County Republican Chairwoman Lin Bennett to a high-level position with South Carolina Educational TV, possibly Commissioner-at-large. The current Commissioner-at-large is Robert M. Rainey who was appointed by Governor Mark Sanford in 2004.

A request for clarification was emailed to Mr. Rob Schaller, ETV Director of Communications.

UPDATE: I also received reports that as many as 81 Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation employees were being terminated.  In response to an inquiry, Mr. Jim Knight, LLR’s Communications Office Director, provided the following from a statement released yesterday:

Today, the Professional and Occupational Licensing Division of LLR is being reorganized to make the Division run more effectively and ultimately be more accountable to its customers. We identified a great number of inefficiencies, the inability to track processes and procedures, and a lack of accountability.  This reorganization is the first step in allowing LLR to serve the citizens of South Carolina in a more expedient manner.

73 permanent jobs are affected by the reorganization;  31 of those will be eliminated. Additionally, 13 temporary and contractual jobs will be eliminated.

Recently, Governor Haley praised LLR for efficiency and cost savings to the taxpayers.  In a statement, the Governor said:

The Haley administration has asked all of our Cabinet members to show results to the people of this state quickly. What Catherine Templeton has done for the businesses and taxpayers of this state in two weeks at LLR is what I want the rest of our Cabinet to follow in the next year. We are proud of Catherine’s leadership and look forward to more successes.

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