Haley nominates Public Safety Director Keel to head SLED

Photo Credit: Emily Pace

COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- Governor Nikki Haley nominated Public Safety agency director Mark Keel to head the State Law Enforcement Division Wednesday.

"When I think of Mark Keel, the words that come to mind: leadership, pride, fairness, trust and respect," Haley announced.

Keel still needs Senate approval to replace outgoing director Reggie Lloyd who announced in March that he planned to leave the agency before his term ended in January.

The new director started tearing up while talking about the position at a formal announcement Wednesday along side Gov. Nikki Haley.

"I am going to do my very best to see that SLED serves you and assists you in everything you ask," Keel says.

Then-Governor Mark Sanford chose Keel to lead DPS in 2008 after accepting the resignations of Director James Schweitzer and Highway Patrol Col. Russell Roark amid charges of trooper misconduct.

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Prior to heading the Department of Public Safety Keel was the Division Major at SLED.

Lloyd became the first black SLED chief when he was tapped by Sanford in 2008 to fill out the unexpired term of longtime chief Robert Stewart.

Lloyd says he's going back into the private sector.

When he announced his plans to leave SLED Lloyd said the future of the agency is up to the governor and the Senate.

"We've got some good people," Lloyd said. "I love a lot of those folks there and they are going to be great if we support them financially and with our support in terms of and sticking to their priorities, I think we are going to be good; not just as an agency, but as a state."

Haley said she has no doubt Keel's the right choice to run the division.

What do you think about Governor Haley's nomination of Mark Keel to head the State Law Enforcement Division?

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)