State Attorney General Henry McMaster sent a letter Thursday morning to the State Ethics Commission asking for an investigation on Governor Mark Sanford’s use of state aircraft.
“Because all of these questions have been raised, they need to be officially answered. But, there is a statue: any and all aircrafts owned or operated by agencies of the state of South Carolina shall be used only for official business, and they don’t have any exceptions on there are anything,” says McMaster.
Governor Mark Sanford has sent his own letter that claimed two points he believes proves a recent article false. The governor says he has used the state plane less than his predecessors, and secondly, that out of the 353 hours flown over the last six and a half years, the media has questioned only two percent of his flights. He says reporters write what they want, and that isn’t right.
McMaster says if Sanford, or any official goes on an official trip, and does something else while there, that isn’t wrong.
“It could be a flight to an official business meeting, and then a number or social things or political. I think that would be within the meaning of the rule, that is if you have to take the plane to get to the official meeting, then other things while you are there that don’t involve using the plane, of course, would be alright,” says McMaster.
McMaster says he just wants to get to the bottom of the investigation so everything will be cleared.
“The only thing that concerns me is that we have a state statute, we have a matter of public concern, we have a Commission that is suppose to look into those sorts of things. So, I think the best thing for all concerns, since the matter has become such a public matter is to let them go ahead and find the facts so we can resolve the matter,” says McMaster.
Governor Sanford says his use of state aircraft was proper.