COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - Gov. Henry McMaster named an acting director for the state’s Department of Public Safety after North Charleston Police Chief Reggie Burgess asked to withdraw his nomination for the post.
McMaster named South Carolina Highway Patrol Maj. Robert G. Woods, IV as the acting director of the agency Friday. Woods is a 30-year veteran of the South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP) and is currently serving as the agency’s Major of Administrative Support. Woods is a 1988 graduate of The Citadel and holds a master’s degree in Human Relations and Conflict Management from Columbia College. He is also a graduate of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy Leadership Institute and holds a Certified Public Manager Credential.
Woods’ temporary appointment comes a day after Burgess sent McMaster a letter asking that he be removed from consideration for the top post. At a news conference Friday afternoon, Burgess said he felt he was never given the opportunity to demonstrate what he wanted to do to improve the department and felt the confirmation process took “an emotional toll” on his family.
Current Director Leroy Smith’s four-year term expires at the end of the day Friday.
McMaster nominated Burgess to replace Smith back in November.
Woods will begin serving as acting director of DPS effective Saturday and will continue serving in that capacity until a new director is appointed by the governor and confirmed by the South Carolina Senate.