Governor Nikki Haley has appointed a new person to search for waste and fraud in state government. Haley chose James Martin for the new post of inspector general this week. Martin replaces George Schroeder, who resigned after only holding the job for a few weeks.
Martin is a former fraud investigator for the State Law Enforcement Division. He worked in the private sector after that, retiring from the criminal justice information company Datamaxx Applied Technologies in 2007. Martin said he had not been planning to go back into government.
At that time, the list of things that I would have considered to bring me back to active employment were nonexistent. But, when I got a call from the governor’s office asking would I would consider coming back and helping create some effectiveness and efficiency in state government… I could not resist.
Martin said he will pick up where Schroeder left off in creating the new office.
Haley first created the post of Inspector General by executive order in March, appointing Schroeder– the former head of the Legislative Audit Council– to the position. However, Schroeder resigned soon afterwards, saying he was uncomfortable with the ambiguity of his job. He said the position needed to be given authority by the legislature. Haley said, looking back, it was a mistake to hire Schroeder.
The thing about Mr. Schroeder, and I will take full responsibility, is it was one of those things where I hired someone who was ready to retire. I pulled him into a situation when he was ready to be on the golf course. So, it was a lesson learned for me that, no matter how bad I think I want someone, I have to make sure that person is passionate about it back.
The Legislature has not yet passed the bill that would officially create the office and detail the inspector general’s powers. The Senate passed it, but the legislation did not reach the House floor in time. It could still pass this year, but would require a two-thirds vote to even be considered.
Haley says she will move ahead, regardless of the outcome.
Everyone thinks there should be an inspector general. We all think it should be done by statute… But, until that happens, I will make sure that it’s done through executive order because we’ve got to go and start cleaning up these discrepancies that we have in our agencies.
Martin will be paid about $98,000 per year, which is slightly lower than what Schroeder’s salary would have been.