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TO CENSURE MARK C. SANFORD, JR., GOVERNOR OF SOUTH CAROLINA, FOR DERELICTION IN HIS DUTIES OF OFFICE AS GOVERNOR AND FOR OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT THAT HAS BROUGHT DISHONOR TO HIMSELF, THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, AND TO ITS CITIZENS.
Whereas, Governor Mark Sanford was absent from the State of South Carolina and from the United States from Thursday, June 18, 2009, until Wednesday, June 24, 2009, while in or in route to and from Argentina for reasons unrelated to his gubernatorial responsibilities; and
Whereas, from Thursday, June 18, 2009, until at least on or about Monday, June 22, 2009, Governor Sanford was not in official communication with any person in the chain of command within the Office of the Governor of the State of South Carolina; and
Whereas, the Governor intentionally and clandestinely evaded South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents assigned to secure his safety in order to effect his absence from the State; and
Whereas, the Governor 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 as to the Governor's whereabouts; and
Whereas, the Governor's conduct in being absent from the State of South Carolina under these circumstances constitutes a dereliction of his duties as Governor; and
Whereas, in addition to the above, Governor Sanford misused state aircraft for purposes unrelated to the duties of his office, traveled numerous times on commercial aircraft at fares which were not permitted by state law, and failed to report free air travel on aircraft of others on his state ethics disclosure forms in violation of state ethics laws; and
Whereas, the full details of these aircraft and travel violations will be reflected in a State Ethics Commission's report to be completed in the near future; however, what has already been disclosed in the public domain is sufficient to conclude he did not conduct himself in these areas in the highest traditions and requirements of his office; and
Whereas, Governor Sanford's conduct as outlined in this resolution in its totality has breached the public trust of South Carolinians and has lowered their confidence in his ability to be their chief executive; and
Whereas, the conduct of Governor Sanford as outlined in this resolution has also brought dishonor, disgrace, and shame not only upon Governor Sanford but upon this State and its citizens which rises to a level which requires a formal admonishment and censure. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
That the members of the South Carolina General Assembly, by this resolution, hereby censure Mark C. Sanford, Jr., Governor of South Carolina, for dereliction in his duties of office as Governor and for official misconduct that has brought dishonor to himself, the State of South Carolina, and to its citizens.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to Governor Sanford.
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