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Haley nominates budget board leader

South Carolina Gov.-elect Nikki Haley announced Friday she will nominate the state's former insurance director to lead the agency that oversees much of state government operations.

Haley said she will nominate Eleanor Kitzman as executive director of the Budget and Control Board. Kitzman, a lawyer and businesswoman, led the Insurance Department from 2005 to 2007, when she resigned over a disagreement with Gov. Mark Sanford on coastal insurance. Last year, Kitzman ran for lieutenant governor but lost in a four-way Republican primary.

Haley said she'll also nominate Marcia Adams as the board's chief of staff. Adams currently leads the state Department of Motor Vehicles, a Cabinet agency under the governor's control. That leaves another opening for Haley to fill.

Haley's announcement followed the resignation of budget board director Frank Fusco and chief of staff Eddie Gunn.

"We've always said we needed fresh ideas and fresh eyes in some of state government's most critical roles, and that's what Eleanor Kitzman and Marcia Adams offer the Budget and Control Board as they take a hard look at the board's core mission," Haley said in a statement.

The board will next meet Thursday, a day after Haley is sworn into office. As governor, Haley will serve as the board's chairwoman. Fusco's office said next Friday will be his last day.

Fusco said the board has made state government more efficient, accountable and transparent.

"Clearly we have made a significant impact in improving these important areas providing cost savings for all levels of government," he wrote in his resignation letter.

The board consists of the governor, state treasurer, comptroller general, and the leaders of the House and Senate budget committees. The panel oversees day-to-day management of much of the state's bureaucracy, including real estate holdings and much of the vehicle fleet.

Fusco has run the board since 2001.

This is not the first time Fusco has resigned. He stepped down in January 2007 after Gov. Mark Sanford wanted to replace Fusco with his former chief of staff, Henry White.

White left in August 2007, and Fusco was rehired after then-state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel resigned following his indictment on federal cocaine charges.

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