November 24th, 2009
06:06 PM ET
5 years ago

Sanford impeachment panel to examine new ethics charges

Mark Sanford, a Republican, has refused to resign in the face of criticism from his own party.
Mark Sanford, a Republican, has refused to resign in the face of criticism from his own party.

(CNN) – A panel of South Carolina lawmakers who gathered Tuesday to formally consider impeaching Gov. Mark Sanford voted to broaden the scope of their inquiry to include 37 new ethics charges against the Republican.

Those civil charges were revealed Monday by the South Carolina Ethics Commission, which had conducted a three-month investigation into Sanford's use of state finances. The governor and his legal team now face a hearing before the Ethics Commission to determine if Sanford broke any state laws by charging the state for first- and business-class flights, using state-owned aircraft for political travel and tapping into campaign funds for personal use.

The lawmakers, members of a special subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee that met for the first time Tuesday, decided to include the ethics charges in their review and scheduled four more meetings of the subcommittee for December.

The group will review the Ethics Commission report over Thanksgiving and decide if the charges should be included in the impeachment resolution, which accuses Sanford of "serious misconduct" for leaving the state in June to visit his Argentine mistress without leaving in place a chain of command.

The seven lawmakers - four Republicans and three Democrats - listened to sworn affadavits from key players in the scandal and entered into the record news reports from June highlighting Sanford's absence from the state.

Rep. Greg Delleney, one of the Republicans who drafted the impeachment measure, appeared to warn Sanford against fighting an impeachment effort, should the subcommittee decide to move forward.

"Impeachment is a political process, it's not a legal process," Delleney said at the meeting, which was attended by Sanford's attorneys. "There is no appeal from an impeachment process. Impeachment is final. Impeachment is solely the constitutional power, duty and responsibility of the South Carolina House of Representatives."

Delleney said governors can be impeached regardless of whether a crime was committed.

Ross Garber, one of Sanford's attorneys, called the impeachment hearing "an extraordinary and extremely rare process. In a statement released after the meeting, Garber said that the governor's "temporary absence from the state in June" does not merit his removal from office.

"As was pointed out in the hearing this afternoon, the state Constitution ensures that the chain of command in state government is not threatened because the Lt. Governor is automatically transferred command in the event of an emergency during the governor's temporary absence," Garber said.


Filed under: Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Peter s

    Please ignore the fact that this guy had a sole mate in Argentina that his matrimonial problems! however! if he has abused his office go for him! if not leave the guy alone

    November 24, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  2. Steph

    Other republican governors quit willy nilly, and this dude won't quit even when it's obvious that no one wants him there. He's willing to drag his state and his family through all the ugly details because he is too selfish.

    November 24, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  3. DJ

    Let him stay and run for President in 2012 with Sarah Palin. Sanford was after all one of the Republican's top contenders to run for President.

    November 24, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  4. Perusing-through

    Hey dummy, you are supposed to be religious. You should know what happened to the Pharaoh when he became hard-head and tried desperately to keep his grip on power. The Pharaoh eventually lost it all because he wouldn't let it go.

    LEAVE SANFORD WHILE YOU STILL GOT SOMETHING TO HOLD!

    November 24, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  5. Tanya Kujath t

    Dude, he's so out of luck!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 24, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  6. diridi

    do you know the meaning of ethics?? what ethics? He took people's money, and flew to south America, to see his girl while his wife is still alive. Is this ethics, is this morality, are these values????just impeach this idiot....catch also other idiots like this idiot....ok...no more questions...if you have any kind of ethics, just impeach this idiot....let go...this idiot..ok

    November 24, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. Bethie

    Get him out anyway you can....he's a complete moron.

    November 24, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  8. A.B.

    There are many good reasons to impeach Mark Sanford and there are no reasons not to do so. The good reasons are as follows:
    * Sanford was derilect in his duties as governor for three or four days.
    * Sanford misused state property and tax payer funds to perpetrate an illicit affair with a woman who is not his wife. The man is married.
    * Sanford abused his position and the public trust for personal gain.
    * Sanford initially lied to the public about his wherabouts at a press conference.
    These are some of the good reasons for his impeachment. There are many others too numerous to enumerate. This man is a disgrace and an embarrasment and must go.

    November 24, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  9. bill

    is he still around.nothing worthwile to report cnn.

    November 24, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  10. B

    Amazing that this IDIOT is still in the news.........

    November 24, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  11. Superman

    Only in america would a politician be prosecuted/persecuted for having an affair....puritanical, idealistic, sad society...

    signed, an American abroad

    November 24, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  12. Another Reformed Republican

    Finally, a Republican who can pass the purity test. Go idiots!

    November 24, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  13. E

    too bad you can't be impeached for HYPOCRISY!

    November 24, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  14. Razorback

    Per the jury of CNN bloggers, Governor Sanford is guilty-of being a Republican. The sentence: DEATH!

    November 24, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  15. Joyce in South Carolina

    Governor Sanford should do the "right thing" and resign.

    It would save the state a lot of money, that we don't have!!!!!

    November 24, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  16. this black liberal hates Obama

    Delleney doesn't fool anyone, particularly me. He and those other republipigs are just trying to save their own political asses, which I don't think it's gonna work.

    They would've be doing all of this if Sanford had kept quiet about what he did!

    November 24, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  17. Diesel

    Ross Garber, one of Sanford's attorneys, called the impeachment hearing "an extraordinary and extremely rare process. In a statement released after the meeting, Garber said that the governor's "temporary absence from the state in June" does not merit his removal from office

    I Disagree, He was AWOL.

    "As was pointed out in the hearing this afternoon, the state Constitution ensures that the chain of command in state government is not threatened because the Lt. Governor is automatically transferred command in the event of an emergency during the governor's temporary absence," Garber said.

    He was not absent (sick, personal problem, etc. ...He was Absent without Leave. Why change the subject.

    November 24, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  18. Scot

    Governor Sanford was not available for comment as he was believed to be "scaling the North face of Everest"

    November 24, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  19. Hennessy Black Racine, WI

    South Carolina has an ETHICS SUBCOMMITTEE?

    Where has it been hiding?

    When did this happen?

    November 24, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |