At this time, I oppose a subpoena of the staff of the Governor. First, the Executive Branch of South Carolina government is a co-equal branch with the Legislative Branch. I think subpoena powers should be reserved when strong evidence of unlawful activity is present.
After ten hours of exhaustive testimony on Tuesday 11.29.2011, we found nothing to indicate that following a simple request for a hearing Governor Haley or her staff made any substantive contact with DHEC board members or staff concerning this issue much less any contact of an untoward or nefarious nature.
The Committee’s vote for a subpoena would require 9 votes (not those present and voting) so absence is a “no” vote. Current issues at our Pharmacy in Anderson make impossible to attend the meeting on Friday 12.02.2011 on short notice, however, my absence is essentially a “no” vote.
Second, I do not think a disagreement with an unwise decision should affect my support for a subpoena. I do not support this decision. I wish we could have taken advantage of this certification to challenge the State of Georgia to be more cooperative in our desire to allow ports activity in Jasper County. Now that opportunity appears be lost. Also, DHEC ignored critical factors such as the potential impact upon Lakes Hartwell, Russell, and Thurmond should dredging result in a flow of brackish water further up the Savannah river basin.
I believe that DHEC made a bad decision, but not an illegal one.