The state Ethics Commission has opened a public inquiry into Governor Nikki Haley’s campaign finances, but Haley says there’s nothing to the latest ethics complaint against her.
Democrats claim she did not disclose addresses for six campaign contributors, but the governor says four of those addresses have been located.
“There were two donors…the donations totaled $350 in nature. We tried everything to find the addresses of the donors, did everything we could to contact them,” said Haley. “We have every sort of paperwork that shows we did everything that we were supposed to according to the law to make sure that we tried to get those addresses.”
The ethics complaint also accuses Haley of failing to maintain proper records of the occupations of more than 100 donors who collectively gave more than $1-million to her campaign. The governor said the investigation will show the accusations are just more political warfare, and she says it creates headlines that only damage the state’s image.
“They need to understand they’re not hurting me, they’re hurting the people of this state when we’re trying to get jobs,” said Haley.
The State Ethics Commission has set a hearing for July 18th.
Senate Democrats Brad Hutto and Vincent Sheheen held a press conference Wednesday to push for their Transparency in Ethics Act. The legislation that would make records related to investigations of public officials subject to the Freedom of Information Act. It would also allow officials to waive their confidentiality in the investigations.
“If the governor truly is about transparency and if there is an ethics investigation pending? This will allow her to waive the confidentiality of those proceedings so that everyone can know exactly what’s going on,” said Senator Hutto.
Last month, a circuit judge dismissed a lawsuit accusing Haley of breaking ethics laws while she was a legislator, saying such issues should be handled by either state ethics officials or a legislative panel. The governor has said she would not waive confidentiality to any legislative ethics investigation.
Haley spoke to affiliate WVOC Wednesday.
Tripp Girardeau and WVOC’s David Waterman contributed to this article.