South Carolina

Templeton joins S.C. revenue agency

Catherine Templeton
Catherine Templeton Travis Bell Photography

Catherine Templeton is back in state government.

Five months after leaving as director of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Charleston lawyer whose admirers credit with overhauling state agencies is working at the state Department of Revenue as a consultant.

She could earn more than $100,000 this year in that role.

Templeton’s main focus will be on technology security, an agency spokeswoman said. She also will assist with efficiency initiatives as well as legislative and federal administrative issues, according to a copy of her contract obtained by The State newspaper.

The Revenue Department continues to work on solutions stemming from a 2012 hacking incident, the nation’s largest data breach at a state agency. Hackers stole financial information for 6.4 million S.C. taxpayers and businesses. No arrests have been made.

Templeton’s cybersecurity experience comes from working with auditors at DHEC to develop record protection programs in the wake of the Revenue Department breach, the agency said. The tax agency said it is “bringing together the best expertise from different companies” on advanced fraud detection programs.

“Templeton has unique knowledge that the SCDOR is using to surgically focus on Director (Rick) Reame’ top priority – preventing criminals from stealing the taxpayer’s money and identity,” the agency said in a statement.

“Getting this system online before the 2016 tax season requires a precise strategic path and substantive knowledge. Templeton is working with the SCDOR to make this additional layer of defense a reality.”

Templeton is paid $12,500 a month in the job, which started in April, according to her contract. The contract runs through the end of the year, meaning Templeton could make $112,500.

Templeton was paid $162,000 a year while leading DHEC. She previously was head of the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Prior to that, Templeton was a private-sector attorney.

Templeton, who some see as a possible political candidate in 2016, is not the only former state agency head to find a new job at another agency under Gov. Nikki Haley.

Holly Pisarik went to work at the embattled S.C. Department of Social Services after stepping aside late last year at the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Pisarik is paid $115,000 a year as a program director at Social Services, about $10,000 less than what she was being paid to run Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Social Services Director Susan Alford makes $159,000 a year.