Catherine Templeton, the former director of the state’s environmental and labor agencies, is leaving her contract job with the S.C. Department of Revenue, she and the agency said Wednesday.
Templeton was hired in April to assist the state’s tax agency with fraud and security issues. She signed a $12,500-a-month contract that ran through December.
She said she announced her planned departure June 2 — three days after her consulting job first was reported by The State.
Templeton said she told Revenue Department director Rick Reames about her decision after a June 2 kickoff meeting with a vendor working to stop tax-refund fraud.
“I have really enjoyed getting to know your people and they are in a wonderful position to implement the project on their own,” she wrote in the email to Reames. “Please let this serve as written notice terminating our contract.”
Templeton said Wednesday that she gave her 30-day departure notice spelled out in her contract. She has handed her responsibilities to other agency employees, a department spokeswoman said.
A Revenue Department spokeswoman and Templeton said she departed only because she had completed her contract work.
Templeton said she does not have another state job lined up, but she would consider working for an agency if asked to handle a problem that she thought she was capable of fixing.
Templeton said she has not talked with Gov. Nikki Haley about working for another state agency, such as the Department of Transportation. She said she has been approached about working with business groups trying to win a road-funding package in the Legislature.
State Transportation secretary Janet Oakley announced her resignation June 1. However, she is staying in office during the search for a successor.
Templeton — a Charleston-area attorney who also ran the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and, later, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control — said she is consulting with data-analytics firms, including Elder Research of Charlottesville, Va., and Alpine Data Labs of San Francisco.
Templeton rebuffed talk that she might run next year for the 1st District congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-Charleston. “I’m not sure why I would want to be one of the 435 least approved people in the United States.”
There also has been chatter that Templeton could be a candidate for governor in 2018, when the term-limited Haley leaves office.