July 17th, 2009
02:26 PM ET
13 years ago

Senior Sanford aide leaving post

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/06/24/south.carolina.governor.emails/art.sanford.head.down.gi.jpg caption=" Gov. Mark Sanford's communications director said Friday that he will resign his post in August."](CNN) - The communications director for Gov. Mark Sanford said Friday he will step down from his post, weeks after the South Carolina Republican disappeared for five days and later admitted to an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina.

Joel Sawyer - who, like the rest of Sanford's staff, did not know where the governor had gone but was tasked with explaining his whereabouts to the press - said in a statement he will leave the governor's office in August to pursue opportunities in the private sector. He also said his decision was not related to the ongoing controversy surrounding Sanford.

"I want to be crystal clear that my departure is purely about what's best for me and my family on a personal and financial level," he said. "I wish Mark and the rest of my talented and dedicated colleagues the best."

In a separate statement, Sanford praised Sawyer as "a wonderfully devoted and skillful member of our team."

Filed under: Mark Sanford
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Gov. Sanford should follow his lead.

    July 17, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. Jazzi

    I guess Joel has gotten tired of lying for Sanford! Good for you, Joel. I only wish you would take the bum Sanford with you!!!!

    July 17, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    He may be distancing himself from all things "C-Street".

    For some reason, CNN is unwilling to give in-depth details of the "Family" (or sometimes called the "Fellowship") that has a very secretive creed and many politicians are involved in.

    What's the problem CNN? No journalists?

    July 17, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. Deb n Texas

    I don't know what they are waiting for – Impeach the Player.

    July 17, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. 60's survivor

    lame duck?? isnt that why palin is stepping down. no one believes in them anymore??

    July 17, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  6. Mary

    Well, if I worked for Sanford, I wouldn't want to be near him or be associated with him in any way. But the one who should go is not you, it is your Govenor.

    July 17, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. John H.

    Sure, Joel, nothing to do with your decision........

    July 17, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Vic of New York

    Sure, "personal reasons". Like being associated with a lying, unreliable and discredited Governor, given to flights of gonad fantasies, would be a resume-enhancing experience.

    Good try Joel, but no cigar.

    At least we can give you more credit for good sensibility than the rest of Sanford's team.

    July 17, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. Pepou

    Sanford should resign. I don't care about this affairs but he is a crook who stole $$$$ from the taxpayers.

    July 17, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Island girl

    Mr. Communications Director obviously cannot take the heat so he is getting out of the kitchen. How can someone in charge of communications be in wonderland when the Head Honcho of the State is MIA and his whereabouts cannot be ascertained? Or is it that he is geographically challenged as regards the difference between the Andes Mountain and the Appalachians? Alas, communication does not seem to be his forté; he definitely needs to try something else.

    July 17, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. kgeukes

    time to bail on the sinking ship, eh??? lmao!!!!!

    July 17, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. kyle from ohio

    GI Joe July 17th, 2009 3:12 pm ET

    He may be distancing himself from all things "C-Street".

    Yeah CNN, be a News organization, not not the TABLOID you have become a 24 hours TABLOID network, but so have MSNBC and FOX.
    be different do your job inform us, not entertain us.

    This is real NEWS go get it, or do what seems like you new normal talk about news after the fact.

    July 17, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. Lee-- Dallas, TX

    Drip, Drop, Drip, Drop... & It Begin's...

    July 17, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Chris in NC

    Why can't this guy just say he's leaving because he doesn't want to be associated with this embarrassing mess? Why the song and dance about "personal reasons" and "what's best for my family"? Do they send politicos to some special school to learn double-talk and mumbo jumbo? Do they really think we're all stupid??? Anybody with half a brain should bail out of this anyway...

    July 17, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. Dieter Zerressen, Denver, CO

    He wants to "spend more time with family" which are code words for "I'm about to be indicted as well". Ha, Republican family values on display – don't you just love it!

    July 17, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. cary

    Sanford is only making it easy for the Democrats to make significant inroads into SC.

    What is going on in the C-Street cult, of which Sanford is a member, that a large portion of these men have had many extra-marital affairs? Why would Sanford and these other wealthy politicians go to live in this townhouse 'dormitory style' in DC, when they have apartments there as well? What is going on there?

    July 17, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. ~~ July ~~

    Hey Sanford ... how it is going with the wife?? ...... does she feel like she is your real ' soul mate ' ?? .... have you compare your 'love to a tragic story' .... have you made comments about her body and mind and etc etc .... oh yeah and cried??

    July 17, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    not a thing to du ewith the Gov and you said that with astraight face

    July 17, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. B

    Hope that more jump ship– Who wants to be associated with a liar and a person of no principles at all.

    July 17, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  20. Tom St. Paul

    The guy was embarrassed by his boss, so he's leaving. It's that simple.

    July 17, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  21. BILL

    bored now....bye bye!

    July 17, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  22. Jake

    It is ridiculous to watch republicans try to qualify Sanford's poor judgment as something that is only occurring in the personal aspects of his life. Bad judgment is bad judgment is bad judgment. Another fundamentalist in denial.

    July 17, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |