State senators unanimously voted Thursday to remove the “Acting” tag from a woman who has essentially been running the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) the past six months.
Christy Hall was confirmed as the state’s new Transportation Secretary in a 37-0 vote. Gov. Nikki Haley appointed Hall to the position after predecessor Janet Oakley resigned in June following clashes with legislators. It was the second time Hall had served as interim secretary, as she also led the agency for three months in 2014 after then-Secretary Robert St. Onge resigned following a DUI arrest.
Legislators supported Hall, citing her familiarity with the state highways department and her involved response to repair hundreds of roads closed by record amounts of rainfall in October. The governor formally appointed Hall while the legislature was out of session in October, but it required Senate approval when the chamber returned this year.
“I am honored to serve the Great State of South Carolina and I greatly appreciate Governor Haley providing me this opportunity to lead the dedicated men and women of the SC Department of Transportation,” Hall said in a brief statement.
Prior to becoming the Acting Secretary, Hall was the Deputy Secretary for Engineering at SCDOT.
Hall will likely have to deal with legislators again in the future as the House and Senate debate how to pay for billions in needed roads repairs and improvements over the next decade. Conservatives also insist any agreement must include changes to SCDOT’s leadership structure, specifically they want the governor to appoint the board that votes on new construction projects rather than legislators.