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Help Wanted: Legal experience not necessarily a virtue (access required)

The tumultuous tales of two lawyers selected to fill high-level public positions in the Carolinas show that legal chops may not count for much when an attorney is named as executive in charge of a sprawling state agency. Catherine Templeton, the new chief of the S.C. Health & Environmental Control Department and former head of the state’s labor agency, is already embroiled in controversy and costly lawsuits. Across the border, N.C. Public Safety Secretary Kieran Shanahan, a former federal prosecutor, lasted six months on the job before he abruptly resigned, leaving rumors swirling in the wake of his sudden departure.

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