(CNN) – A special House panel considering an impeachment measure against South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford decided Thursday that their review will not include most of the state ethics charges filed against the governor last month.
South Carolina state lawmakers voted to throw out 28 of the 37 civil charges filed by the state Ethics Commission, most of which involved Sanford's purchase of business class tickets with taxpayer money and his use of campaign funds.
State House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Harrison, who is overseeing the special impeachment panel, said the ethics charges do not rise "to the level of serious misconduct or a serious offense" that would merit removing Sanford from office.
Harrison's subcommittee is still evaluating Sanford's use of state-owned aircraft along with the original impeachment resolution, which focuses on whether Sanford broke the law by secretly leaving the state in June to visit his mistress.
One of Sanford's attorneys, Ross Garber, applauded the decision.
"It is appropriate that the committee dismissed the bulk of the allegations against the Governor," Garber said in a statement released by the governor's office. "These allegations clearly did not rise to the level of serious crimes and serious misconduct in office required to justify impeachment of a governor for the first time in the history of South Carolina."
Harrison said the panel will meet again next Monday to decide whether to send an impeachment resolution on to the full Judiciary committee.
South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, a Republican who is running to succeed Sanford next year, is still evaluating the Ethics Commission report to decide whether the state will pursue criminal charges.
UPDATE: Sanford's personal attorney Butch Bowers said he is "pleased" with the vote.
"This decision confirms that Governor Sanford has followed the letter and spirit of the law," Bowers said in a statement. "We look forward to resolving this matter quickly and showing, as the Committee's actions today demonstrate, that this administration has been a consistent ally of the taxpayer."