Politics & Government

Sanford e-mails show him MIA in 2008

S.C. Department of Commerce Secretary Joe Taylor attempted to track down Gov. Mark Sanford via e-mail and cell phone in June of 2008 — the day the governor has admitted to seeing his Argentine lover as their relationship turned physical.

"Need contact number for (Sanford) ASAP," Taylor wrote in an e-mail to a Sanford staffer at 7:19 p.m. on June 28, 2008.

The e-mail was one of more than 3,300 pages of e-mails released Wednesday evening to The State newspaper and other media under the state's open record laws.

The e-mails are from the governor's state e-mail account. They do not include communication between Sanford and his lover, Maria Belen Chapur, and his personal e-mails were not released.

In addition, the governor's office did not release state account e-mails "that are personal in nature." In many cases, the e-mails urge Sanford to use his personal Comcast account, indicating an understanding of which accounts are subject to open record laws.

The documents shed additional light on the scandal involving the embattled governor, who has said he won't resign following his tearful confession last month of an extramarital relationship with the Argentine woman.

In June 2008, Sanford took part in a Department of Commerce trade mission to Brazil. Sanford requested that an additional leg be added to the trip to Argentina, during which he visited his lover.

The governor has reimbursed the state more than $3,000 for the Argentine leg of that trip.

From the e-mail records, it appears Sanford eventually was tracked down while in Argentina.

On a Saturday afternoon, Ford Graham, a Department of Commerce staffer and the only person to go with Sanford on the Argentine portion of the 2008 Commerce trip, wrote in an e-mail to Sanford: "I forgot to mention that they really were concerned at first. Apparently they had an informal meeting to discuss what they could do/how they should respond to a missed flight. In the end they decided that you would work things out."

To read the complete article, visit www.thestate.com.

Related stories from McClatchy DC