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SEANNA ADCOX
Associated Press


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP, WLTX) - The director of South Carolina's unemployment agency has resigned, effective March 1.

Department of Employment and Workforce Director Abraham Turner turned in a hand-written resignation letter to the governor Friday.

In the letter, Turner says he's resigning for personal reasons. His resignation follows questions from legislators stemming from the agency's decision to eliminate one-on-one help for people seeking benefits in 17 rural offices statewide.

Haley says she wishes Turner nothing but the best.

Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey says the agency's former director, John Finan, will return on an interim basis.

Haley picked the former commanding officer of Fort Jackson to lead the troubled agency in May 2011. Turner did not start his new role until September 2011, after retiring from the Army.

Democrats were quick to attack the announcement of the departure.

House Democratic Leader Rep. Todd Rutherford responded to the news that General Abraham Turner will resign as the Director of the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce effective March 1st with the following statement:

"Governor Haley has allowed her agency, SC DEW, to become an absolute embarrassment," said House Democratic LeaderTodd Rutherford in a statement. "In the last two weeks the governor's agency has made news because of crippling layoffs, massive pay raises, lavish taxpayer funded beach retreats, the closing of seventeen unemployment centers in rural counties, and now the resignation of the Executive Director. Governor Haley must regain control of her agency before it is too late. Millions of South Carolinians depend on this agency to be functional and effective. As it stands today, it is the opposite."

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