May 3rd, 2010
01:42 PM ET
13 years ago

Sanford avoids criminal charges following ethics investigation

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Governor Mark Sanford will not face criminal charges."]
(CNN) - South Carolina's Attorney General has decided that Gov. Mark Sanford will not face criminal charges following an investigation into his travel and campaign expenses.

"After conducting a thorough investigation, the evidence does not support beyond a reasonable doubt that the governor knowingly, willfully, and intentionally set out to break state law, which is the criminal prosecutorial standard that must be reached," Attorney General Henry McMaster said Monday at a press conference in Columbia.

For the last five months, McMaster had been reviewing the results of a state ethics investigation into Sanford's use of state planes and campaign funds - a probe that started after media organizations began examining the governor's financial practices following his disclosure of an extramarital affair last June.

That investigation resulted in 37 ethics charges against the Republican governor, whose term expires in January. Sanford resolved the civil charges in March by paying $74,000 in fines.

But on Monday, McMaster said the ethics violations did not rise to the level of criminal conduct. The law, he argued, "requires a much higher standard before criminal prosecution is warranted."

"A criminal prosecution is not appropriate under these circumstances and we do not believe a criminal conviction could be obtained," McMaster added.

Sanford thanked the Attorney General and the ethics investigators for their "deliberate approach and work" in recent months. He said McMaster's decision reaffirms his belief that the Sanford administration has always "been a stalwart defender of the taxpayer. "

Filed under: Henry McMaster • Mark Sanford • Popular Posts • South Carolina
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. jim

    those republicans.

    why am I not surprised?

    and mr. sanford is supposed to be a leader?

    May 3, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Jerry

    Clinton got to skate why should this man be any different unless you are just talking D and R syndrome.

    May 3, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  3. Justin

    What a crock! Isn't McMaster running for governor? Pretty big conflict of interest, if so.

    May 3, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  4. JonDie

    Democrats always take a beatiing, especially in the press. Republicans always skate when they commit crimes.

    May 3, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. outraged still

    No wonder Americans are "tea partying" to remove these scoundrels and scum of society. "Governor" i dare say NOT!!! He does not have the basic American rudiemtary requirements Americans were told to get him elected. He should be tried for conspiracy to commit fraud, imbezzlement, income tax evasion, filing a false IRS statement, defrauding State government, carousing, making false statements. Anyone else add any I missed.

    In ANY case, he is not fit for public office, in ANY capacity. He violate ALL the tenants of being a human being. And this scum is still drawinf a salary. Incredible.!!!!

    If any of us peons had done ANY of this HE would have have us jailed and campaigned on
    look at what I've saved you from". PULEEESE. Why is HE still NOT jailed?

    Fire the committee that rendered the "decison". YOU insult our intelligence. Tea Partiers and ALL elections are comomg. WE WON'T FORGET!!!!!!!l

    May 3, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    This if for all you libertards who convicted the man without a trial and take your nasty comments and shove them.

    May 3, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. bob

    Clearly, this man was too dumb to be governor.

    May 3, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
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