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Democrats Upset with Governor's Handling of DOR Hack

7:17 PM, Nov 29, 2012   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Two Democrats held a press conference to voice their frustration with Governor Nikki Haley and the Department of Revenue.

"I can't believe that our state governemnt would fail so badly," Sen. Vincent Sheheen said.

With fingers pointing to Haley and Revenue Department over the hacking of millions of people's personal data, Sen. Sheheen and Rep. James Smith said they're not satisfied with the responses from both parties.

"I've held off on having a press conference or really talking about this in public in a big way for almost over a month, but at some point when you are fed a line that is obviously not true for so long," Sheheen said. "Somebody has to speak out."

The two met with reporters Thursday criticizing the Governor and the DOR about how they've handled the situation.

"I would have expected a competent administration to have done some of these things already," Smith said.

"We shouldn't be used to accepting this dysfunction and this level of incompetence. And we ought to hold our leaders accountable," Sheheen said.

They also showcased a bill they'll propose that would give residents a tax credit for those who have to buy protection for their stolen credit card information.

"The administration has basically put a tax on every person in South Carolina who now has to go out and buy protection for their own information and that's wrong," Sheheen said.

The two also displayed contracts with data security company, Trustwave. The copies given to lawmakers have large sections redacted by the DOR. Copies given to News 19 as part of a Freedom of Information request, also have the same sections blacked out.

"They told us they can't give it to us because it might jeapordize security. I find that laughable after what's occured in this state. There are answers that need to be given," Sheheen said.

And one of the main points to the conference was requesting an independent investigation.

"If it's her agency reviewing her own conduct there's going to be less confidence in the results because it's her agency. She's investigating herself," Smith said.

"South Carolina's a lot better than this and we deserve better," Sheheen said.

Gov. Haley's office released a statement responding to Sheheen's news conference.

It reads in part: "We're used to Sen. Sheheen's lame attempts at political grandstanding...Gov. Haley looks forward to working with the General Assembly on ways to further protect and compensate affected taxpayers."

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