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Haley makes her first minority Cabinet pick

  • Updated
Haley makes her first minority Cabinet pick

Gov.-elect Nikki Haley

COLUMBIA -- Gov.-elect Nikki Haley has chosen a former prosecutor to lead the state's probation and parole agency and announced she thinks it should merge with the corrections and juvenile justice agencies.

Haley, who soon will become the state's first female and first minority governor, on Thursday nominated Lynne Rogers to lead the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. She is Haley's first minority choice to lead a Cabinet agency, though her role would be diminished in a restructuring proposal.

Rogers, 59, is president of the South Carolina Black Lawyers Association. The Columbia resident is Haley's seventh Cabinet pick.

Rogers has been deputy director and attorney for the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation since 2003. She previously was an attorney for the state's Medicaid and public safety agencies. And she was an assistant Richland County prosecutor from 1985 to 1991.

"We're not just announcing another agency head, we're announcing a coalition," Haley said.

Haley's choice to lead Corrections, current Juvenile Justice Director Bill Byars, would lead efforts to merge the three agencies. Rogers said one reason she agreed to take the post was because of Byars, whose work in refoming juvenile justice has been praised by advocates and legislators in both parties.

Haley argues the merger would save money and better coordinate oversight of offenders so that fewer people return to prison.

That's why Haley says she's supporting the merger bill proposed by Democratic Rep. Bakari Sellers of Denmark.

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