Department of Social Services Director Lillian Koller testified before a Senate panel on Wednesday, where she fended off criticism of her administration and allegations made by child welfare officials from throughout the state during past hearings.
Following the hearing, Gov. Nikki Haley’s spokesman issued a statement on behalf of Haley defending Koller, while Haley took to Facebook to do the same.
“I am so proud of Dir. Lillian Koller and her testimony in front of the Senate sub committee,” Haley wrote in her post. “…Amazing that senators are criticizing her for setting goals and accomplishing them.”
That last line was a jab at Sen. Katrina Shealy, R-Lexington, who questioned Koller for her goal setting within agency staff.
“I don’t think children should be considered goals,” Shealy told Koller during the hearing. “Sometimes we let numbers get in the way.”
Shealy’s comments were met by applause from people in the crowd in a jam-packed room, full of members of Haley’s cabinet and the public.
Anyway, back to Facebook. After about a dozen or so responses on Facebook, a commenter wrote: “Koller is an outspoken Atheist and not a fit for our state. SC DSS need serious revamping and we need someone new to lead it, NOT KOLLER!!!”
To which Haley responded: “Dir. Koller is not an Atheist. I wish you and Sen. Shealy would quit spreading that lie. She is Jewish and the daughter of Holocaust survivors.”