The Buzz

April 29, 2014

Vincent Sheheen again calls for Nikki Haley to fire DSS chief

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to

Democratic gubernatorial challenger Vincent Sheheen again called for Republican Gov. Nikki Haley to dismiss the head of the state's child welfare agency after a report that the agency could not locate parents of a five-month baby who died.

"How many more children have to die before Gov. Haley fires Lillian Koller?” Sheheen said Tuesday.

Sheheen and other Democrats said they believe Koller should step aside after allegations about the agency's handling of child deaths during hearings by a special state Senate panel.

Sheheen said Tuesday that he would leave Haley alone "in the mud" of ads by the Republican Governors Association that attacked his criminal legal work in two ads released over the past two weeks.

The Haley camp said Sheheen was trying to exploit a tragedy to win an election.

"There isn't a tragedy sad enough that he won't try to score political points with - and it's a real shame that Vince Sheheen wants to politicize an innocent child's death," Haley campaign spokesman Rob Godfrey said.

Sheheen lost to Haley in 2010 by 4.5. percentage points.

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