Gov. Mark Sanford should not be allowed to get away with the excuse that he agreed to pay fines for breaking state ethics laws merely to put the matter behind him.
Sanford last week agreed to pay $74,000 in fines for ethics violations but admitted no guilt. The governor also agreed to pay $66,223 to reimburse the cost of the state investigation into the violations.
Sanford's use of state aircraft, his purchase of expensive airline tickets and his alleged misuse of campaign money prompted the State Ethics Commission to launch the investigation. In November, the commission charged the two-term Republican governor with 37 violations carrying a maximum fine of $74,000, the amount Sanford agreed to pay.
But in the agreement, Sanford continued to argue that he broke no laws.
"It's time to move on," Sanford said in a statement. "While I believe I would be vindicated on all these matters if there were ever a full airing, the people of South Carolina have moved on from all that unfolded last summer, and this administration has moved on as well."
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