COLUMBIA- State Sen. Vincent Sheheen is calling for an investigation into whether Gov. Nikki Haley or her staff attempted to obstruct a Senate panel's investigation into the Department of Social Services.

Haley's spokesman calls the request by her Democratic rival ridiculous election-year politics.

Sheheen asked Senate President Pro Tem John Courson in a letter Thursday to create an investigative committee to look into whether the administration interfered with another panel holding hearings on DSS. He points to comments by a Republican panel member, Sen. Katrina Shealy, that Haley's staff scolded her.

Shealy is among those calling for Lillian Koller's removal. Haley continues to back her DSS director.

But Shealy opposes Sheheen's request. She said the problems at DSS need to be corrected so children aren't abused and don't die, and Sheheen's involvement politicizes the issue.