Dec 9, 2009 4:04 PM by Associated Press

South Carolina panel nixes governor impeachment

South Carolina lawmakers have defeated a move to oust Gov. Mark Sanford over his summertime tryst and his use of state aircraft.

A panel considering whether to impeach the two-term Republican voted 6-1 Wednesday that his actions were not serious misconduct. Lawmakers are still considering whether to recommend an official reprimand. Lawmakers said Sanford's actions did not rise to a high enough level to warrant his removal from office before the end of his second and final term in January 2011. Sanford has been under scrutiny since June, when he tearfully revealed an affair.

Ensuing probes of his travel and campaign spending have led to more than three dozen state ethics charges and the potential for $74,000 in fines.


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