Governor Mark Sanford’s longtime friend and former staffer Tom Davis attended SLED’s announcement that the governor’s travel records were clean. Davis says that his role, this time, was as a legislator. He says, ” As a legislator, I have a duty to the people of Beaufort County to make sure no laws were broken. I have a duty to look into the matter as best as I can and to determine firsthand what the facts are. I may be called upon to make a grave decision or an important decision at some point in time and it’s always been my policy to check things out for myself. ”
Davis says, as far as that “grave decision” goes, he has been meeting with other public officials and the state attorney general about the governor’s ability to lead.
“When you are gauging the capacity of a statewide elected official to discharge his or her official duties, I think legislators have a duty to come up and listen to the facts for themselves and not get swept up in a mob mentality,” says Davis.
Senator Davis says his fact-finding also includes talking to and seeing both Mark and Jenny Sanford on a regular basis. He says he is pleased with SLED’s findings so far:
“That, A–The governor was extremely forthcoming, above and beyond what he had to be; B–the governor made himself available to be interviewed; C– that the facts clearly showed, that beyond a shadow of a doubt that no public funds were used for private purposes; D–that the governor did not, as had been widely reported, direct there to be a trip to Argentina. I think that Chief Lloyd’s independent investigation today 100 percent corroborated what the governor has said for the past week.”
As far as the legislature’s role in this, Davis will not speak or speculate about what will happen in the coming days, but he says, “Every indication I get from the governor is that he has no intention to resign. I think the governor is perfectly able to respond to whatever particular emergency that may occur and that falls within his duties as governor to address. I don’t have any question in that regard.”
And the toll that this controversy has caused on a friend of Governor Sanford’s? Davis says it’s been difficult for him, but he is back in the role now of senator, making sure that Sanford is truly fit to serve and he will make his decision “in due time.”