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Gov. Sanford Waives Confidentiality in Ethics Probe; Urges General Assembly to Make Investigations of its Own Members Public as Well


Location: Columbia, SC

Gov. Mark Sanford today issued the following statement:

“First, I'd like to emphasize that over the last several days we've provided documentation supporting this administration's strong record in defending the taxpayer and in staying true to both the intent and letter of the law with regard to travel. What all this shows are the ways our administration stacks up quite favorably against previous administrations over the last 20 years when it comes to looking out for the taxpayer. It's also worth remembering that our administration has consistently advocated for transparency in government: signing a Campaign Finance Reform bill in 2003; ending the legislative process of “pass-throughs” in 2004 that disguised where tax dollars went; working with the Comptroller General on an online spending disclosure system for state agencies; and calling for on-the-record voting so that constituents could see how their representatives in Columbia were voting.

“In the continued spirit of a fair and transparent process, I am today announcing that I'll be waiving confidentiality as the Ethics Commission studies some of the allegations made in the press and by political detractors. Our administration has nothing to hide. We would welcome the public to scrutinize our record, just as the Ethics Commission will do.

“It's also important to note that transparency should apply to all levels of state government. Ethics investigations involving members of the General Assembly are conducted entirely by the members of the General Assembly themselves, not by an outside Ethics Commission. And such investigations are done entirely in secret, with the results very rarely known. I welcome the taxpayers of South Carolina getting a clear view of everything our Administration has done with regarding to treatment of tax dollars. I would urge the members of the General Assembly to join this effort at greater transparency and agree to open up all future ethics matters relating to the conduct of members of the House and Senate.”

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