The Buzz

Templeton leaving S.C. Ports Authority

Catherine Templeton
Catherine Templeton Courtesy of Travis Bell Photography

Catherine Templeton is leaving her position with the S.C. Ports Authority immediately, the agency announced Friday.

Templeton decided that the position, senior vice president of legal, external affairs and human resources, does not meet her career goals, according to a statement from the agency. Templeton was at the agency just over a month. No successor was named.

“I am grateful that Catherine had the willingness to join our organization and give us the benefit of her expertise in her brief time with us,” said Jim Newsome, chief executive of the Ports Authority. “She is an extremely talented and energetic executive who has a lot to offer any firm.”

Templeton, a former Irmo resident who now lives in Mount Pleasant, is the former director of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Before joining the Ports Authority, she worked as a consultant to the S.C. Department of Revenue for three months.

Templeton has been mentioned as a possible candidate for political office at some point, but has steered clear of any public discussion about her ambitions.

Efforts to reach Templeton were not successful Friday.

During her tenures at the health and labor agencies, she was criticized for firing numerous employees and making wholesale changes. She also drew withering criticism from some state lawmakers for DHEC’s failure to better manage a tuberculosis outbreak in Greenwood County in 2013.

But her stint at the environmental agency also met with some success.

She succeeded in cleaning up a polluted neighborhood in Columbia, stopping a sewage dump in Pelion and focusing attention on obesity across South Carolina.

Reach Cope at (803) 771-8657. Staff writer Sammy Fretwell contributed.