3 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Forty-seven days have passed since former Department of Social Services Director Lillian Koller refused to step down amid calls from Democratic and Republican lawmakers for new leadership at the agency.

"If I thought that my resignation would save the life of even one child, the governor would have my resignation. So I respectfully decline to resign," said Koller after a Senate DSS Oversight Subcommittee meeting in April.

Monday, however, she announced she'd leave the agency. Previous Coverage: Lillian Koller resigns from DSS

In her resignation letter to Governor Nikki Haley, Koller said it had become apparent that she had become a distraction, one that made improvements at the agency difficult to continue.

Richland County Sen. Joel Lourie, a Democrat, says that is one thing he and Koller can agree on.

"In any one of our hearings it became clear to all of us involved that this leadership has to be changed. This agency is headed in the wrong direction," he said.

Lourie and Lexington Senator Katrina Shealy serve on the Senate subcommittee investigating DSS. Both called on Koller to step down and said they were frustrated with the inconsistent information provided by the agency.

Shealy, a Republican, says Koller's resignation offers a chance to move forward and build a better DSS for children and families in South Carolina.

"This is not the solve everything solution. This gives us the chance though to quit going on with this part of the problem, because this has been a distraction," she said.

Shealy says she no longer expects Koller to attend a planned subcommittee meeting on DSS this Wednesday, but says their work will continue.

Lourie says Koller's ability to lead has steadily fallen over the last few months.

"They have made a mess out of this agency. We've got to fix that problem because at the end of the day it should always be about protecting vulnerable children," said Lourie.

3 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.wltx.com/story/news/local/2014/06/02/lawmakers-respond-to-kollers-resignation/9886949/