Governor effectively fires SC Public Safety Director Smith

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FILE – In a Nov. 21, 2011 file photo, Leroy Smith, director of the Department of Public Safety, talks to reporters in Columbia, S.C. State Public Safety Department Director Leroy Smith wrote an email to his employees Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019 saying he will not be nominated for a third term. (AP Photo/Virginia Postic, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The director of the South Carolina agency that oversees state troopers says he will not be nominated for a third term.

State Public Safety Department Director Leroy Smith wrote an email to his employees Tuesday saying he is disappointed his eight years at the agency is coming to an end.

Smith was appointed director in November 2011. His second term ends in February. The decision to effectively fire Smith is Gov. Henry McMaster’s alone. His office didn’t immediately respond.

In the last few years of Smith’s tenure, a number of House members have accused him of being a poor manager and causing morale to drop at the Highway Patrol. The House voted in 2017 to cut Smith’s salary to zero to eliminate his position, but the Senate didn’t go along.

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