Ethics Commission finds probable cause in Sanford case

The South Carolina Ethics Commission says there is probable cause on several ethics charges against Governor Sanford. The Commission met behind closed doors in executive session for most of Wednesday. Then Commission Director Herb Hayden gave a statement saying that notice has been sent to the governor’s office that probable cause was found in the investigation.  Hayden pointed out that finding probable cause is not the same as finding guilt, but only one phase in the investigation.
Hayden did not reveal specific charges. The Commission will conduct a hearing in the case after January 1.
South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell has said that House members need the Ethics Commission report before they consider whether or not to begin impeachment proceedings. He said previously that information about Sanford’s actions available so far would not be sufficient to impeach Sanford. Even the writer of the impeachment resolution said Tuesday that he wasn’t sure that there would now be enough House votes for impeachment,  though he says there may have been enough support for impeachment over the last summer.