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Gov. Sanford Escapes|First Impeachment Bid

COLUMBIA, S.C. (CN) - South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell blocked an effort to impeach Gov. Mark Sanford, saying the time isn't right for it.

State Rep. Greg Delleney, R-Chester, tried to introduce an impeachment resolution during a special session of the Legislature called to straighten out a snafu that blocked millions of dollars in unemployment benefits from state residents.

But Harrell said accepting the resolution would set a precedent that would violate the limited terms under which the Legislature is meeting. The House Speaker said he will allow the legislation to be pre-filed in mid-November, in anticipation of the body's return to work in January.

Delleney said he'll refile his resolution as soon as he is able.

Sanford has been under fire since early June, when he disappeared for a rendezvous with an Argentine mistress. Over the course of the summer, the governor's problems have been compounded by questions about his use of state aircraft and bills he's submitted for travel expenditures.An impeachment battle has been looming ever since.

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