Gov. Nikki Haley has put the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles’ director in charge of coordinating relief efforts after this month’s floods.
Haley said Monday that retired Army Col. Kevin Shwedo will step away from his DMV responsibilities while acting as the state’s coordinator for flood recovery. Shwedo has led the DMV for most of Haley’s administration. He took the job shortly after retiring as Deputy Commanding Officer at the Fort Jackson Army Training Center in Columbia.
Shwedo said he hopes his experience improving the inefficiencies at DMV will help with coordinating between state agencies and local governments.
“I like breaking bureaucracies,” he told reporters in a press conference announcing the move. “My job is to go out and start talking to the county councils, the mayors, and the people that are served. And do everything I can to… rectify the issues we’ve got there and not waste a lot of time doing it.”
Haley created the coordinator’s position in an executive order Thursday, saying she wanted a state counterpart for the federal disaster recovery coordinator created by FEMA in response to the floods. Shwedo will be tasked with recommending both short-term and long-term recovery efforts. The order said that will include “community planning,” “economic recovery,” and “housing recovery,” among other responsibilities.
The governor said Shwedo will return to his DMV job when he’s no longer needed for disaster work, but did not know how long that would be. An acting director will take over in the meantime.