Monday, November 23, 2009

Gov. Mark Sanford Faces Multiple Ethics Charges

This should not come as a surprise. Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) is facing 37 ethics violations charges stemming from his conduct.
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.

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