The Governor’s Office announced Thursday that a new acting director has been named at the South Carolina Department of Corrections after current director William “Bill” Byars suffered a mild stroke.
Governor Nikki Haley released a statement saying that Byars was okay and is expected to make a full recovery. However, she plans to appoint a new person as acting director until he returns to duty.
Her choice is Robert “Bob” Ward, who is currently the head of the agency’s Operations Division. Ward has been at Corrections for 29 years and previously led the agency on an interim basis. He also served as director of the Lee Correctional Institute, where he was briefly in the public eye during a 2003 hostage crisis.
Byars previously served as head of the state Department of Juvenile Justice under previous governor Mark Sanford.