A resolution to impeach S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford was ruled out of order by House Speaker Bobby Harrell (RINO-Charleston) during a special legislative session Tuesday, effectively shutting down any impeachment drama until lawmakers reconvene again for a full session in January of next year.
The impeachment resolution, prepared by S.C. Rep. Greg Delleney, accuses Sanford of “serious misconduct in office,” saying that the Palmetto State’s scandal-plagued chief executive was not only derelict in his duty but that he “directed members of his staff in a manner that caused them to deceive and mislead the public officials of the State of South Carolina as well as the public of the State of South Carolina.”
Delleney’s resolution – which avoids most of the accusations currently being investigated by the State Ethics Commission – concludes that Sanford’s conduct has “brought extreme dishonor and shame to the Office of Governor of South Carolina and to the reputation of the State of South Carolina.
Delleney’s sole focus appears to be the fact that Sanford left the state without telling anyone for six days, and then lied about his whereabouts when the press started sniffing around – none of which is under dispute.
After originally telling his staff that he was “hiking the Appalachian Trail,” Sanford later confessed to being in Argentina with his Latin lover, Maria Belen Chapur.
Subsequent media investigations into the Sanford administration, however, have revealed a host of alleged abuses – most of them travel-related.
While a majority of lawmakers in both parties have called on Sanford to resign, impeachment and possible removal from office appears to hinge on the Ethics report.
Sanford has “dug in” against this pressure, promising to fight impeachment with every legal means at his disposal and suing to block the preliminary release of the Ethics Commission’s investigation.