- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Senate has unanimously appointed a Greenville attorney and former Duke Energy executive to run the state’s health and environmental agency.

Catherine Heigel’s appointment as director the Department of Health and Environmental Control came Thursday in the final hour of the General Assembly’s regular session.

Heigel was president of Duke Energy’s South Carolina operations from March 2010 to June 2012. She plans to resign positions on the board of the Nature Conservancy’s state chapter and the board of state-owned utility Santee Cooper.

In her confirmation hearing last month, Heigel was strongly praised by senators from both parties.

It was in stark contrast to a hearing in February for Gov. Nikki Haley’s last pick for the post, longtime friend Eleanor Kitzman. Kitzman withdrew after the hearing.

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