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S.C. House Censures Governor Sanford — Speaker Harrell: Time to turn the page and move SC forward

January 13, 2010

Office of the Speaker

SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 13, 2010

Contact: Greg Foster

(803) 734-3125

gregfoster@schouse.gov

House Censures Governor

Speaker Harrell:  Time to turn the page and move SC forward

(Columbia, SC) – Today, the South Carolina House of Representatives passed a censure resolution – a legislative decree condemning Governor Mark Sanford – for his dishonorable actions while in office which have brought great shame upon himself, his office, our state government and our citizens.  The censure resolution will now go to the Senate for its consideration.

House Speaker Bobby Harrell issued the following statement about the House’s censure of Governor Sanford:

“The past year’s fallout surrounding Governor Sanford has marked a dark chapter in our state’s history.  Despite calls from many – including myself and a majority of lawmakers – to put this issue behind us by acting in the best interest of our state and resigning, Governor Sanford insisted on remaining in office.  This unprecedented decision to keep himself, and his distractions, in office left the General Assembly with no other option but to fully investigate the numerous allegations of wrongdoings made against Governor Sanford.  Our investigation into these actions has now culminated in the House’s passage of a censure resolution.

“The House Judiciary Committee conducted a thorough investigation into whether or not the Governor had committed serious crimes or serious misconduct.  The Committee found that Governor Sanford’s actions were irresponsible, misguided and hypocritical and that he used a taxpayer funded trip as a means to a personal end.  However, as unfortunate and disappointing as these actions were, it was revealed that they did not reach the constitutional threshold for removal from office.

“I would like to thank the members of the Judiciary Committee for all their time and hard work spent investigating this matter fully.  And I would also like to thank the members of the House for acting quickly on the Committee’s recommendation to censure the Governor.  The proper Constitutional procedure was followed and the House did its job in this regard.  The possibility for any further action is a determination that will be made by the State Ethics Commission and the Attorney General.  They will decide how to prosecute the 37 charges that the Governor still faces.

“As we begin this New Year and this new legislative session, it is time for us to turn the page on this dark chapter, and focus our state on the many serious issues we face this year.  Our citizens want lawmakers focused on moving South Carolina forward.  Our ability to successfully land Boeing and the thousands of jobs they will create is the beginning of this new brighter chapter for our state.  Today, lawmakers have turned the page and have made it clear that our focus is on improving our state’s future by focusing on our economy, education and the other issues the people of our state need us to deal with.”

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