SLED: No illegal use of public money on Sanford's affair, trips
The head of South Carolina Law Enforcement says there is no evidence Governor Mark Sanford broke the law or used state resources to visit his mistress. Whatever one might think about Governor Sanford's infidelity, a state inquiry says there's no evidence he broke the law. State Law Enforcement Division Director Reggie Lloyd says his department took statements from Sanford and compared them to travel and expense records. For each of the five times Sanford has admitted to meeting with his Argentine girlfriend, Lloyd says the Governor did so on his own time and covered his own expenses. "At no time during this period of review did SLED learn any information, any facts, any evidence that would suggest that a crime had been committed," said Lloyd in a press conference Thursday afternoon. Governor Sanford has already reimbursed the state for the Argentina leg of a state commerce trip during which he conducted business meetings, but also spent time with his girlfriend. Two other visits in New York were part of larger events paid for by the Republican Governors Association and Republican National Committee. But Lloyd says Sanford covered his personal expenses on those occasions. "And what he did on his personal time is his own business," said Lloyd. "State employees go on business trips all year long, all over the place: conferences, other business matters. What they do at night is their business. As long as it's not illegal, we generally don't ask them what they do." The inquiry was requested by South Carolina's Attorney General and numerous state lawmakers. Lloyd says Governor Sanford cooperated fully. A spokesman for the Governor says the results should put to rest any speculation that Sanford used public money in relation to his affair. However, the findings have not silenced critics calling for Sanford's resignation. South Carolina Republican Party Chairwoman Karen Floyd said in a statement that she's confident in the findings of the inquiry, but "the fact remains that there is clearly a growing view that the time may have come for Governor Sanford to remove himself and his family from the limelight."