SLED Director Reggie Lloyd announced today that a review of Governor Mark Sanford’s travel records found no criminal violations.
“We found no improper use of public funds,” said Lloyd. ” That is the scope of our review. During the process the Governor’s Office and the Governor himself were extremely helpful. The Governor even availed himself for an interview with SLED.”
The investigation was prompted by Attorney General Henry McMaster after Sanford revealed that he had made more trips than previously noted.
Sanford has given two personal checks totaling $3300 to the state treasurer as reimbursement for part of a taxpayer-funded trip to South America last year. He says the money covered lodging, meals and airfare to Buenos Aires, where he says saw Maria Chapur.
Lloyd says the governor told SLED he wanted to do some work in Argentina while the rest of the delegation bird hunted. “Our decision is that repayment of the travel expense by the Governor is a decision that he made for appearance sake. The trip was legitimate. He conducted business on behalf of the state during that trip. Whatever else he did in no way changed the legitimacy of that trip.”
In responding to a reporter’s question about his legitimacy to lead the review, considering the fact that he was appointed by Sanford, Lloyd said he is asked that question a lot, and that the issue agravates him just a little.
“The Governor cannot fire me, whether we had found something or not,” said Lloyd. “I have been involved in investigations far more substantial than this, where we had to make tough decisions about whether to prosecute or not prosecute somebody.”
In a statement today, Sanford said he still has no plans to step down. The governor plans on taking a long Fourth of July holiday weekend with his family in Florida.
Following SLED’s announcement, the Governor’s Office said that they’re glad the travel review is behind them. They have released the travel records to the media.