The Changing Face of the Commission
If there is anyone who has been out of the loop with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission for the past few months, what they will see when they come back are some significant changes in the Commission itself. Most importantly, two commissioners have left, and two new commissioners have been appointed. These new commissioners bring with them a diverse set of experiences, which will likely be of great benefit to South Carolina’s employers.
First, Commissioner David Huffstetler resigned from the Commission on November 15, 2011. After the resignation, Governor Nikki Haley nominated Gene McCaskill to complete Commissioner Huffstetler’sterm. Commissioner McCaskill previously served as an executive assistant at the Attorney General’s office and as a grocer for two decades in Camden, South Carolina. He also served as the Director of Admissions at Camden Military Academy. The governor has recently reappointed Commissioner McCaskill to serve an additional six-year term, given that Commissioner Huffstetler’s term was up on June 30, 2012. The South Carolina Senate confirmed this appointment on June 6, 2012. Thus, Commissioner McCaskill’s new term will run through June 30, 2018.
Commissioner G. Bryan Lyndon’s term expired on June 30, 2010. However, he continued to serve until Governor Nikki Haley appointed attorney Melody James to take his place. Commissioner James’ appointment was confirmed by the South Carolina Senate on April 25, 2012. Before her appointment, she served as a partner at the law firm of Mozingo and James, where she practiced workers’ compensation law both on the claimants’ side and the defendants’ side. She also served as the municipal judge for the City of Cayce. Commissioner James’ term will run through June 30, 2016.
The Commission, as it currently stands, has a very diverse set of commissioners. There are three women and four men. Of the seven commissioners, five have law degrees. The remaining two, Commissioner Gene McCaskill and Commissioner Avery Wilkerson, bring with them experience from both the public and private sectors.