Governor Mark Sanford hit with 37 ethics charges


(CNN) — The South Carolina Ethics Commission has charged Gov. Mark Sanford with 37 counts of violating state ethics laws, according to a complaint released by the commission on Monday.

The complaint follows a three-month investigation into Sanford’s use of taxpayer money.

Sanford is accused of using tax money to buy business-class airfare on domestic and international flights, flying on a state-owned aircraft to political gatherings or events “which involved no official business,” and spending campaign funds for personal use such as buying a ticket to attend President Obama’s inauguration in January.

South Carolina law requires state officials to buy the lowest fares available for flights, and bars the use of state aircraft for personal use.

Sanford’s office did not respond to requests for comment about the charges.

The governor, once a rising star in the Republican Party before he revealed an extramarital affair in June, faces a hearing along with his legal team before a three-member ethics panel. Cathy Hazelwood, general counsel to the state Ethics Commission, said no date has been set for the hearing.

After arguments are presented, the panel will determine if Sanford broke any state laws. The ethics case involves civil charges that are punishable by fines, and Sanford can appeal decisions up to the state Supreme Court.

Only the state attorney general, Henry McMaster, can decide to pursue criminal charges against the governor. McMaster is reviewing the allegations to determine if any laws were broken.

The article goes on to talk about how the state legislature has already filed an impeachment resolution against the embattled SC Governor. The first impeachment hearing will take place tomorrow:

The South Carolina House will hold its first impeachment hearing Tuesday to air the case against Republican Gov. Mark Sanford.

The state’s speaker of the House announced Monday that a House Judiciary subcommittee will begin hearing arguments for the governor’s impeachment at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

South Carolina lawmakers have been threatening the governor with impeachment since he admitted in June to an extramarital affair. Since then, Sanford has also been accused of improperly using state travel funds.

The South Carolina Legislature does not reconvene until January, but four GOP state representatives pre-filed an impeachment resolution against Sanford last week after the state Ethics Commission announced that it had completed its investigation into Sanford. The commission is expected to release its report this week, possibly as soon as Monday.


No formal legislative action on impeachment, however, can take place against the governor until the Legislature reconvenes in January.

Palmetto Scoop has the full 17 page ethics report available to view on PDF. Here’s an alternate link in case that one doesn’t work.

Well, Sanford has made his bed now he must lay/lie in it. Oh wait – he’s already done both, hasn’t he?

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