The South Carolina Supreme Court has allowed the state House of Representatives to join the state Ethics Commission in opposing a petition by Governor Mark Sanford. At issue: whether the legislature should be allowed to see the commission’s report on the governor’s travel spending and behavior. The commission is investigating Sanford’s business travel, along with his absence from the state to visit his mistress in Argentina in June. A report will go to the state Attorney General.
Speaker Bobby Harrell, on the behalf of the SC House, filed a petition today to intervene in the case on the behalf of the Ethics Commission. the Supreme Court quickly granted that request.
The governor contends that he won’t get a chance to respond to any allegations against him. House Speaker Bobby Harrell disagrees:
Listen to statement: Harrell says the ethics investigation will not be one-sided :36 MP3
The governor’s attorney contends that the House is not aprosecutor in this case. Harrell says the House has to be, because the investigation may result in impeachment.
The state Ethics Commission report is not expected until later this month. The commission Monday asked the state’s highest court to dismiss Gov. Sanford’s arguments altogether.