New political ad questions Haley's response to SC data breach - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New political ad questions Haley's response to SC data breach


A new political ad for Vincent Sheheen hits a soft spot among South Carolinians with the SC Department of Revenue breach.

The ad criticizes Governor Haley's handling of the situation but one former attorney general says the ad is off base.

The ad focuses on the 16 days between when the breach was discovered and when Haley made a public announcement about the hack.

But according to SLED Chief Mark Keel and supporters of the governor she couldn't announce the breach right away because SLED and the secret service advised against it.

The ad from the Sheheen campaign brings up what's arguably the biggest disaster Governor Haley has faced in her four years in office- and the state senator from Camden is making sure the DOR breach isn't forgotten.

"It was her department of revenue that was under our control that allowed 3.5 million people to have our personal information hacked into," said State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Camden.

But Haley supporters say the new ad, which mentions the delay between the breach and the governor's public announcement, leaves out a critical detail.

"That criticism is completely off base," said Henry McMaster, who is the republican candidate for lt. governor. "The record clearly shows that Governor Haley was cooperating with SLED."

In a statement last year from SLED Chief Mark Keel points out that Governor Haley was asked by the state law enforcement agency and the Secret Service to not go public with the information.

"Secrecy is not only allowed, but is often required," McMaster said. "For instance if a state grand juror talks about what goes on inside that jury, they go to jail."

But members of Sheheen's campaign tell WIS in a case like this, the public has a right to know and they point out that even after the amount of time that's passed, we still don't know much about it.

"She still won't tell us what the secret report on her desk says happened," Sheheen said.

A fact McMaster point's out is typical of law enforcement.

And it will most likely stay that way until the hacker is caught.

WIS learned late Thursday Department of Corrections former director Jon Ozmint has also joined McMaster in blasting the ad.

This isn't the first political ad this season to cause an uproar.

An ad by the Republican Governor's Association criticizing Vincent Sheheen's work as a criminal defense attorney drew a lot of criticism from the South Carolina Bar, which is made up of lawyers across the state.

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