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Haley criticized for Citadel board appointment

COLUMBIA (AP) — Democrats are criticizing Gov. Nikki Haley’s decision to replace The Citadel’s only black board member with a white campaign donor.

Party officials accused Haley on Monday of pay-to-play politics for her appointment of South Carolina Bank and Trust executive Greg Lapointe of Greenville. He replaces Columbia businessman James McQuilla, an appointee of former Gov. Mark Sanford.

The governor gets one appointment to The Citadel’s 11-member board, which now consists of 10 white men and one white female.

Haley says she didn’t consider race or gender. She says Lapointe was the most qualified candidate.

Haley drew a backlash in 2011 when she ousted popular University of South Carolina benefactor Darla Moore from its board and replaced her with a male campaign donor, saying it was time for a change.

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