SC gov faces 37 charges he broke state ethics laws

Monday, Nov. 23, 2009 1:48 PM
Last updated 1:56 PM
  • Follow Latest News

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford faces ethics charges he broke state laws more than three dozen times by violating rules on airplane travel and campaign money, according to details of the allegations released Monday.

It's up to the state attorney general to decide whether to file criminal charges. Sanford's lawyers have claimed the allegations involve minor and technical aspects of the law.

The second-term Republican governor has been under scrutiny since he vanished for five days over the summer, reappearing to tearfully admit to an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina he later called his "soul mate."

A series of Associated Press investigations into his travel showed the governor had for years used state airplanes for political and personal trips, flown in pricey commercial airline seats despite a low-cost travel requirement and failed to disclose trips on planes owned by friends and donors.

The State of Columbia newspaper also questioned whether Sanford properly reimbursed himself from his campaign cash.

The ethics commission conducted a three-month probe into the allegations, details of which have been awaited anxiously by legislators contemplating whether to force Sanford from office in January a year before his term-limited tenure expires.

The panel announced last week that Sanford would face "several" charges but did not reveal the specifics until Monday.

The governor's lawyers last week characterized the accusations as minor and technical and predicted Sanford would face no criminal repercussions.

The attorneys also said they looked forward to mounting a defense against the charges when the ethics panel holds a hearing into them early next year. They also confirmed that Sanford – as the state investigation was being conducted – added disclosures of his private plane flights to his ethics forms.

For months, Sanford has insisted he did nothing wrong and served as a better steward of the taxpayer dollar than his predecessors. But the former congressman's penchant for riling fellow Republicans who control the Legislature has left him with few allies since the startling June news conference during which he admitted to the affair.

Four GOP lawmakers already have filed a resolution that would force Sanford from office because of "dereliction of duty," and the travel allegations play no part in that move. Their measure deals solely with Sanford's absence from the state, when he led his staff to believe he was hiking the Appalachian Trail while he was in Argentina.

A committee that will consider that measure is scheduled to meet for the first time Tuesday.

Sanford has brushed off repeated calls from his own party to step down and in the past month scored a political victory by helping land a Boeing Co. assembly plant that is expected to bring thousands of jobs to North Charleston.

Meanwhile, the first lady and their four sons moved out of the governor's mansion. While the Sanfords have said they were trying to reconcile, Jenny Sanford more recently has described the two as separated. She is writing a book about the experience.

Comments (7) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
CyndiCk
0
Points
CyndiCk 11/23/09 - 02:05 pm
0
0
I sure hope he thinks it was

I sure hope he thinks it was worth it. See what happens when a man thinks with the wrong head?

ANGEL
0
Points
ANGEL 11/23/09 - 03:27 pm
0
0
amen!

amen!

the_source
0
Points
the_source 11/23/09 - 03:38 pm
0
0
Jenny is a lot more

Jenny is a lot more attractive than that other woman, IMHO. Mark must be blind as a bat.

KSL
144812
Points
KSL 11/23/09 - 04:35 pm
0
0
Mid life crisis.

Mid life crisis.

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 11/23/09 - 05:11 pm
0
0
Being married to the perfect

Being married to the perfect woman, I guess I just missed my mid-life crisis. Or, better yet, @ 59 I'm not to mid-life. Sanford ruined his political career for a fling and the AP has also had a ball with it. If no charges are brought, beyond ethics, this will be another in a long list of Sanford non-stories related to this affair.

corgimom
38775
Points
corgimom 11/23/09 - 06:45 pm
0
0
Remember when your mother

Remember when your mother told you, "Once you start lying, you can't stop" and "If you lie once, then you have to lie over and over to cover up the first lie"

blackjackcool1
0
Points
blackjackcool1 11/23/09 - 07:16 pm
0
0
What a tangled, tangled web

What a tangled, tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive!!! However. I did hear, once upon a time, those Argentinian women are HOT!!!!

Back to Top
loading...
Top headlines

City Ink: New board means more work for me

First Mayor-elect Hardie Davis will be sworn in, and the very next day the work will begin. Commissioners will meet and the gavel will fall. It will be a brand new day at City Hall.
Search Augusta jobs