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McConnell: Senate is wrong choice for Sanford investigation

Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell, R-Charleston, is urging a senator investigating Gov. Mark Sanford's possible misuse of state resources to proceed with caution.

In a letter to Sen. David Thomas, R-Greenville, McConnell wrote that Thomas risks tainting any potential jury through his Senate investigation.

Thomas' Senate Finance subcommittee is looking into whether Sanford misused state planes or used state money to visit his Argentinean lover.

Thomas concluded Monday that Sanford broke state law in flying business class on overseas economic development trips.

"In plain terms," McConnell wrote, "investigative hearings by the Senate open the institution to the charge the jury pool has been compromised."

McConnell said other, more appropriate groups should pick up the investigation.

McConnell suggested the House of Representatives, where any impeachment proceedings against Sanford would have to begin, or the State Ethics Commission would be better choices to investigate Sanford than a Senate subcommittee.

"I believe these investigations should begin as soon as possible," McConnell wrote.

-- From staff reports

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