COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — As COVID-19 cases continue to climb in South Carolina, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) continues their search for a new director.
DHEC has been without a permanent director since June, when Rick Toomey stepped down after more than a year on the job. The agency has had an acting director since then.
The South Carolina Board of Health and Environmental Control is leading the search for the new director. Some lawmakers we spoke with said they hope someone is chosen soon especially with the ongoing pandemic.
Representative Seth Rose (D-District 72) said, “I have no issue with the board taking time making sure we have the right person.”
We’ve been told more than 50 people have applied for the job and interviews have been conducted by a search committee of the board. We’ve also been told the search committee has hired a search firm to assist with the search.
Almost all discussions have happened in executive session behind closed doors. Board members originally said they were aiming to select a candidate by November. The goal was to have the new director confirmed by the state Senate first thing in January.
The search committee said they did not take any action during Tuesday’s executive session which was closed to the public.
Rep. Rose said, “I do think the lack of answers surrounding the search process is concerning.”
No date has been set for the next meeting for the search committee.