Ethics Commission spends the day behind closed doors

Half a dozen news crews have been camped out at the state Ethics Commission Office in Columbia since 9:30 this morning, awaiting the posssible release of a report from the Commission concerning Governor Mark Sanford’s business travel and other actions in office. The commissioners, all of whom are appointed by the governor, are expected to decide whether Sanford is guilty of wrongdoing or should be cleared.  At publishing time, the Commission is still in executive session. 

Reporters camped out outside SC Ethics Commission offices

Meanwhile, the South Carolina House is also waiting for the Commission’s report. Speaker Bobby Harrell has said that House members need that report before they consider whether or not to begin impeachment proceedings. Chester County Republican Greg Delleney and others filed an impeachment resolution on Tuesday, the first day for pre-filing.
Harrell as said that information revealed so far has not been on a level that would lead to Sanford’s impeachment. Even Delleney told a WRHI reporter in Rock Hill Tuesday that he wasn’t at all sure there would be enough House votes for impeachment in January, even though he believed that it would have been more likely last summer.
And because a of legal question it’s uncertain if the full Ethics Commission report will be released immediately following today’s executive session. Commission director Herb Hayden says commissioners are confused and need clarification on what the state Supreme Court meant in its November 5th decision labeling the Commission report as public, if the Commission chooses to release it.

Entrance to Ethics Commission offices in Columbia