SLED Chief Reggie Lloyd says as far as his agency is concerned, the criminal investigation into Governor Sanford’s trips is complete. Lloyd testified before a Senate subcommittee Friday. Lloyd said he found Sanford committed no criminal or civil violations, but says he would pursue other issues if they were brought up later. Attorney General Henry McMaster called for the review by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division after revelations of Sanford’s affair with an Argentine woman while on a state-funded trip.
Lloyd says at no time has his agency gone into any other person’s life and performed such an inquiry as he did with the governor. “What we’ve said all along, which for some reason some members and others don’t seem to get, is that we’re a law enforcement agency. If your neighbor says something is going on, we need some evidence to verify that. No one ever brought us that in this case.”
Lloyd says after the review, he doesn’t believe there’s any way the governor could have covered up misuse of state money. “It’s sort of like the Jimmy Stewart movie with the invisible rabbit that wasn’t there. We looked to see if there were state expenditures and there were none.”
Lloyd says Sanford even volunteered six years worth of credit card bills for review, and he has never investigated anyone on that level. And he says normally his agency has to have sufficient facts before they spend time on an investigation, implying that there was a different standard given him in this case. “People bring us stuff all the time. People bring us stuff on members of the Senate. They get ticket off with them and they accuse them of all kinds of stuff. If they can’t verify it, there’s nothing we can do. Otherwise we’ll spend all day chasing political rabbits.”