Gov. Mark Sanford has a second layer of legal protection — at taxpayers' expense.
The governor's office has hired Connecticut-based attorney Ross Garber to represent its interests as lawmakers begin deliberations on whether to impeach the embattled, two-term Republican governor.
Garber, who will be paid $150 an hour by the governor's office and report to the governor, has represented public officials under investigation and white collar criminal defendants.
He may be most well-known as the ethics expert who represented the Connecticut governor's office when John Rowland faced a 2004 impeachment effort. Rowland subsequently resigned and pled guilty to a corruption charge.
Sanford already has private attorneys.
Garber said he was hired to protect the institution of the governor's office and to help lawmakers realize the gravity of their deliberations.
"The eyes of the world are on South Carolina," Garber said Tuesday, adding lawmakers' decision on whether to impeach Sanford will have ramifications for future S.C. governors and the state.
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