Faith, falsehoods, and Facebook: Senator, governor spar over DSS - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Faith, falsehoods, and Facebook: Senator, governor spar over DSS director's religion

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State Sen. Katrina Shealy hit back against a charge from Gov. Nikki Haley that she was spreading rumors about DSS Director Lillian Koller's faith State Sen. Katrina Shealy hit back against a charge from Gov. Nikki Haley that she was spreading rumors about DSS Director Lillian Koller's faith
Gov. Nikki Haley pointed the finger at Shealy, saying she was spreading the rumor. Gov. Nikki Haley pointed the finger at Shealy, saying she was spreading the rumor.
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

After an almost 3-hour meeting where senators grilled Social Services Department Director Lillian Koller about alleged mishandling of child welfare cases, Gov. Nikki Haley took to Facebook to defend the director.

But the story has evolved from Haley's defense of Koller to alleged rumors about the director's faith and whether or not those rumors came from a state senator.

Following her Facebook post about Koller, one of the governor's 121,000 followers responded and called Koller's faith into question.

"Koller is an outspoken Atheist and not a fit for our state. SC DSS need serious revamping and we need someone new to lead it, NOT KOLLER!!!" read the post.

Haley quickly responded to the charge.

"Dir. Koller is not an Atheist," said Haley. "I wish you and Sen. [Katrina] Shealy would quit spreading that lie. She is Jewish and the daughter of Holocaust survivors."

Shealy, the senator for Lexington County, took part in Wednesday's subcommittee meeting and had several pointed questions of her own for Koller.

The senator, like Haley, is very vocal on her own personal Facebook page, often times using the social media site to update her constituents on what's going on within the legislature.

Shealy appears to have seen Haley's response to the allegations against Koller and came out hit back against the governor with a post of her own.

"I am so angry!!!" said Shealy.

Shealy explained what happened during the DSS subcommittee hearing. She did admit to at least asking the Haley administration if Koller was an atheist, but Haley officials told Shealy that Koller was Jewish.

"Now I am being reprimanded on the Governor's Facebook Page saying I am spreading rumors," said Shealy. "Someone owes me an apology!!!"

Haley and Shealy are close friends. Haley even went the extra mile for Shealy with an endorsement for her state Senate campaign back in 2012 when Shealy was kicked off the ballot and had to become a petition candidate due to a paperwork error.

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