Gov. Mark Sanford apparently will escape impeachment. But the decision Wednesday by a panel of S.C. House lawmakers to call for a formal rebuke of the governor ensures that he won't escape judgment altogether.
The panel, we think, reached a reasonable conclusion, especially after deciding last week that three-quarters of the ethics charges lodged against Sanford do not merit his removal from office. That essentially left his secretive trip to Argentina in June to visit his mistress while telling his staff that he planned to hike the Appalachian Trial.
State Rep. Greg Delleney, R-Chester, the only member of the panel to vote for impeachment, thought that transgression alone was worthy of booting Sanford from office.
“We have a governor forsaking, abandoning, deserting his office. We have a premeditated, intentional act where he abandoned his office in the state,” said Delleney. “He has lost all moral authority to lead this state.”
Sanford brought shame and dishonor to the state by skipping out on his duties and then tearfully confessing his sins. But panel members decided that, while Sanford is guilty of serious misconduct, his crimes don't merit removal from office.
To read the complete editorial, visit The Rock Hill Herald.