Politics & Government

S.C. ethics panel says too early for Sanford to block report

The State Ethics Commission says Gov. Mark Sanford is premature in trying to block the release of its preliminary investigation into allegations against the two-term Republican governor. The commission also says the case should not be decided by the S.C. Supreme Court.

The commission made its arguments in a mid-day filing with the Supreme Court.

Sanford asked the S.C. Supreme Court last week to prevent the Ethics Commission from turning over its preliminary report, similar to an indictment, to lawmakers should they begin impeachment proceedings against him. The Ethics Commission is looking into Sanford's use of state planes and other resources as well as campaign money.

Sanford's five-day disappearance in June and later admission of an extramarital affair spurred media investigations that led to the Ethics Commission inquiry.

Attorneys for the commission argue Sanford has taken his case to the S.C. Supreme Court too soon. There are ways to prevent the political and legal damage that Sanford says could occur if the Ethics Commission report is released, other than for the state’s highest court to intervene, they argue.

In particular, commission attorneys say, the nine-member Ethics Commission has yet to decide whether to turn over the report to lawmakers. That decision only will made once the report is finished and only if the S.C. House has begun impeachment proceedings against Sanford, as lawmakers have threatened.

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

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