Sanford saga goes to SC Supreme Court
In one week, the South Carolina Supreme Court will hear arguments on the latest twist in the Sanford saga. The embattled South Carolina Governor is attempting to stop state lawmakers from seeing a preliminary report of the investigation into his travel. WFAE's Julie Rose reports: Since the day in June when he admitted to disappearing for five days to visit his Argentine lover, Governor Mark Sanford has been striving to get past the scandal and keep his seat in office. The State Ethics Commission is now investigating Sanford's use of state planes and other resources. It plans to release a copy of the findings to members of the State House of Representatives by the end of October. Governor Sanford has pledged to stop that: "I'll use every tool in the tool box," said Sanford at a press conference in September. "We will bring legal action if necessary." Sanford made good on his word last week when he sued the Ethics Commission in the state's Supreme Court. "I get it that many members of the General Assembly would like to seem me gone," said Sanford. "But I mean, if you go this route, what you're doing is setting up a kangaroo court." Sanford's attorneys say releasing the preliminary report to the General Assembly violates his right to due process because it will not include his own defense. State law allows the Ethics Commission to release its initial findings to the Attorney General and other prosecutors. The director of the State Ethics Commission says the House of Representatives would qualify as a prosecutor if it began impeachment proceedings. House Speaker Bobby Harrell says lawmakers are waiting on that report to decide whether they should impeach Sanford. He has asked for permission to state his case before the Supreme Court. That request was granted. The South Carolina Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case next Monday, October 19, 2009.