An impeachment attorney brought in by the Office of the Governor is now out of a job after Wednesday’s House committee vote to censure rather than impeach Governor Mark Sanford.
The House Judiciary Committee Wednesday voted on the censure of Gov. Mark Sanford. For impeachment legal specialist Ross Garber, this vote means his job is done. Garber is an attorney with Connecticut firm Shipman & Goodwin LLP.
He says impeachments are very rare in this country and he says his role has been an important one. “It is not unusual to have both the public official represented, and also the office of the public official represented. For example, in the impeachment investigation of President Clinton, there was a lawyer who represented the president in his personal capacity, and then also a separate set of lawyers who represented the office of the president.”
In the Clinton impeachment, then-Congressman Mark Sanford was on the other side of the issue. At that time, Sanford called for the President to step down.
Garber says it was wise for the governor to bring him in: “in the case of an impeachment , if the governor were impeached, he would be required to step aside, having the effect of essentially overthrowing a democratically-held election. Again, that has consequences for the people as well.”
(Garber comments) MP3 1:11
The Connecticut attorney says he has given SC taxpayers “a very steep discount from his usual hourly rate.” His last reported rate was $150/hr.
House Speaker Bobby Harrell calls the hiring of Garber “a complete waste of money …absolutely unnecessary because all the subcommittee was going to do was to take the report and determine whether or not the things in the report warranted removing him from office. If the governor hadn’t had any legal counsel, the subcommittee and the full committee would have come to the same conclusion. He wasted money particulary by hiring out-of-state counsel to come in here, using state tax dollars to pay them to basically monitor what our committees did,” says Harrell.