Columbia, SC (WLTX, AP) - Gov. Nikki Haley has picked Cheryl Stanton to lead the state's unemployment agency.

Thursday, Haley announced Stanton as her pick to be director of the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW).

Stanton has worked as a general counsel for Ogletree Deakins, a law firm specializing in labor cases. She also worked as an associated counsel at the White Houseto President George W. Bush.

Haley's announcement Thursday comes nearly two months after former director Abraham Turner resigned from the Department of Employment and Workforce.

Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. John Finan has been filling in as director on his second interim term.

Haley chose from three finalists picked by a legislative screening panel.

The Cabinet agency has become a target of both parties.

Retired Maj. Gen. Turner handed in his resignation Feb. 15 amid a backlash from legislators over the agency's plans to cut in-person services for unemployment claims at 17 rural offices.

The agency has since announced a statewide reorganization that directs anyone seeking jobless benefits to use its upgraded online system.

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