Commentary: S.C. needs more clarity on state plane rules

Gov. Mark Sanford's injudicious use of state planes may have had at least one silver lining: Flights by future governors and state workers are likely to be monitored more closely from now on.

State lawmakers — motivated in part by questionable travel by the governor — asked the Legislative Audit Council to review two years of flight logs of state aircraft and airline tickets purchased for state employees. Ultimately, the audit turned up no serious abuse of state planes or airline tickets.

But the audit did support finding of an earlier S.C. Ethics Commission investigation that rapped Sanford for using state aircraft at least twice to attend political functions. State law limits use of state-owned planes to officials state business.

Auditors also produced a list of suggestions for making the travel by state officials more transparent.

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