Keel takes over as Public Safety director

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The new director of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety is ready to get started.

Governor Mark Sanford's office says veteran law officer Mark Keel will officially be sworn in Tuesday as director of the agency under fire for allegations of state trooper misconduct.

Keel has said his top priority will be to reform discipline issues at the department.

Sanford chose Keel after accepting the resignations of Director James Schweitzer and Highway Patrol Col. Russell Roark amid charges of trooper misconduct.

Black lawmakers criticized the agency after a video emerged showing an officer using a derogatory term for blacks while pursuing a suspect on foot. Another trooper shown in another video hitting a suspect with his patrol car is facing a federal civil rights charge.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)