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Senate Confirms Keel as New Public Safety Director

June 5, 2008
Senate Confirms Keel as New Public Safety Director

Columbia, SC - The Senate, by unanimous approval, has confirmed the
nomination of Major Mark A. Keel as Director of the Department of Public
Safety. The appointment is for a four-year term and will expire on
February 01, 2012.  

“I am very pleased the Governor nominated someone like Mark Keel, who is
known for being a person of tremendous ability and integrity,” says
Senate Judiciary Chairman, Glenn McConnell (R-Charleston). “I feel
confident Mr. Keel will make an immediate impact on the Department of
Public Safety and will successfully address the issues that have been
highlighted recently. He demonstrated great insight of the department
when he outlined his vision during the confirmation hearing and the
Senate looks forward to working with him throughout his tenure.”

The new Director of the Department of Public Safety gave the following
statement concerning his confirmation by the Senate:

“I appreciate the confidence Governor Sanford has placed in me by
nominating me to serve as the Director of the Department of Public
Safety and I am grateful to each member of the Senate for their support,
confidence and trust in my abilities during the confirmation process. I
look forward to being associated with the professional and hardworking
employees of this agency who protect and serve the citizens of the State
of South Carolina.” 

Keel, 50, is currently serving as the Assistant Director and Assistant
Chief at the State Law Enforcement Department (SLED), where he has
served since August of 1979. Keel is a lifelong resident of South
Carolina, who grew up in Barnwell County. He graduated from the
Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College with an Associates of Science
degree in Criminal Justice in 1977 and received a Bachelor of Science in
Criminal Justice from Georgia Southern University in 1979. Keel received
his Juris Doctor in 1995 from the University of South Carolina School of
Law. 

Before joining SLED, Keel worked with county and local law enforcement
agencies including: Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Department, Barnwell
Police Department, and Denmark Police Department.

Keel was nominated to be the new Director of the Department of Public
Safety after Director James Schweitzer resigned in February. The
Senate’s confirmation paves the way for Keel to be sworn-in at
anytime. 
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