COLUMBIA, S.C. (CN) – The South Carolina Legislature on Tuesday accepted a resolution to impeach Gov. Mark Sanford, citing his admission that he had an affair with an Argentine lover and questions about his travels in office.
Rep. Greg Delleney “pre-filed” his bill in advance of January’s session of the South Carolina General Assembly. It is unlikely that any action will be taken on the bill until then, though the General Assembly’s judiciary committee could take it up sooner under state law.
Ben Fox, the governor’s spokesman, told the Courthouse News Service that Sanford would not comment on the filing. Last month, Delleney, a Chester County, S.C., Republican, tried to introduce his bill during a special session called to extend the state’s unemployment benefits and fix a technical problem holding up payments to recipients.
At the time, House Speaker Bobby Harrell deemed the move inappropriate, as it fell outside the parameters under which the Legislature had been called back to work.
Delleney has repeatedly said he believes Sanford abandoned his responsibilities to the state’s citizens when he disappeared for five days in June to see his mistress.
The filing ends what had been an outwardly happy period for Sanford, who in recent weeks has presided over several economic development announcements, including Boeing’s decision to locate an assembly line for its 787 Dreamliner passenger aircraft outside of Charleston.
Boeing’s $740 million commitment is the largest economic development announcement in state history. Sanford visited North Charleston with many of the officials who will now stand in judgment of him for a ceremonial bill signing approving Boeing’s incentive package.
Sanford’s headaches are expected to grow later this week, when the S.C. Supreme Court rules on whether a preliminary report on the state Ethic Commission’s investigation of his travel practices should be made public.
Sanford has fought the early disclosure of the document, saying it would prejudice any impeachment proceedings brought against him.