Chester Representative Greg Delleney is preparing impeachment legislation for the beginning of the regular legislative session in January in the case that leaders of the House and Senate don’t call a special session before then to impeach
The decision to call lawmakers back to Columbia depends on the word of House Speaker Bobby Harrell and President Pro Tem of the Senate Glenn McConnell. It would then take a two-thirds vote by lawmakers to amend the resolution which concluded their legislative year that ended in June, and allow them to stay at the Statehouse and start a special session. The House would consider the issue of impeachment first. If the House approves articles of impeachment, then the issue goes to the Senate for a trial.
Delleney says he expects says if lawmakers return, the entire process could be very brief. The standard process would be for the impeachment measure to gain approval in by a subcommittee and the Judiciary Committee before reaching the floor of the full House. But Delleney says a two-thirds vote by members of the House would allow them to skip the committee and subcommittee review. “We could probably to it in one day, then recess and send it to the Senate, and the trial and vote in the Senate could be done the same day.”
Delleney says even if the matter is not on the fast track, the entire process may not take more than three days. If
there is lapse time while the House is considering impeachment, the Senate would have the opportunity to discuss the budget.
Delleney says he considers what he calls the disgrace brought upon the state to be the primary grounds for impeachment. “Just look at late-night TV, since July. Or go to New York City, or London, and tell them where you’re from, and see what they want to talk about.”
Delleney says the second most important grounds for impeachment to him is dereliction of duty, when he left the country for Argentina and didn’t tell his office where he was going, and enlisted his subordinates in the cover up. “In his words, he told a white lie and misled his staff. And when the international news shows started reporting that the Governor of South Carolina is missing, then his staff puts out the lie he told them, that he was going to be on the Appalachian Mountain Trail, hiking.”
Delleney emphasizes that the legislature determines what constitutes misconduct in office. “You do not have to have a crime. We determine what serious misconduct in office is. With the disgrace and shame that he has brought upon the office of Governor and the reputation of South Carolina, I don’t know how anyone can look in the face of their child or grandchildren and serve in the legislature and do anything other than this, that he should be able to serve out his term without consequences.”
Delleney says the governor has demonstrated that he’s not competent to run the state. “And he continues to do so, every time he holds a news conference, or tours around the state, as taxpayers pay for it on his ‘forgiveness tour’ or whatever you want to call it. He is an obstacle to our progress and economic development and he needs to resign.”