Ah, transparency … and accountability. It’s a great day for those oft-invoked words, isn’t it?

Sure … just not in South Carolina. And not if S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley is involved.

In fact according to a report posted this week by The Nerve – an insider political blog based in Columbia, S.C. – Haley’s most recent ethics scandal has taken a decidedly anti-transparent twist.

First, some background: Earlier this year FITS exclusively reported on a previously undisclosed car crash involving Haley – one in which a state vehicle was damaged while illegally transporting Haley to a campaign-related event. This quickly turned into a statewide story – and the S.C. State Ethics Commission (SCSEC) indicated it was going to hold Haley accountable for her actions.

In fact the agency prepared a letter outlining Haley’s violations.

The very next day, though, the head of the SCSEC flip-flopped – giving Haley a hall pass on her violation.

How was Haley able to get out of trouble so quickly? Easy: The same way she previously got out of trouble with this agency – by holding its commissioners’ jobs over their heads.

Now, according to The Nerve, the letter drafted by the SCSEC outlining Haley’s violations has been … destroyed.

“The letter was destroyed, both hard copy and electronic copy,” SCSEC director Herb Hayden told the blog.

Wait … what?

That’s flagrantly illegal, people … which is probably why Hayden declined to answer any further questions about the matter.

FITS attempted to reach Hayden regarding the deleted document but he did not return our calls.

Deleting public records is nothing new for Haley. In fact she went through a major scandal last year after she was caught deleting emails – and withholding documents from reporters that were sought under the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Of course her spokesman recently referred to hers as “most transparent administration in South Carolina history.”