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SLED chief sees no evidence of crime

SLED director Reggie Lloyd said Tuesday he is worried his criminal investigative agency is being pulled into a new realm — political inquiries.

Meanwhile, the State Law Enforcement Division will complete within days its review of Gov. Mark Sanford’s travel records in the wake of the governor’s latest confessions of extramarital entanglements, Lloyd said.

So far, agents have seen nothing that constitutes a crime, Lloyd told reporters.

“I have nothing, absolutely nothing that he used taxpayer money for anything (illegal),” Lloyd said.

SLED plans to release its findings and answer questions raised about travel, misconduct in office and adultery, Lloyd said.

Calls for a SLED investigation have come from legislators and Attorney General Henry McMaster, a likely candidate to succeed Sanford.

“I’m assuming the attorney general is going to sit on the sidelines while we conduct our inquiry,” Lloyd said.

The governor’s office, he said, has cooperated fully with SLED’s requests for documents, including information on more trips to visit Argentine lover Maria Belen Chapur, a former television journalist.

Sanford told The Associated Press on Tuesday he paid for some of the trips with cash to avoid leaving a paper trail.

The governor’s staff has supplied public and private records, Lloyd said, declining to be specific.

Several times during a telephone news conference, Lloyd, who was appointed by Sanford, said he worries that SLED is being asked to set “a new standard” for delving into public and political figures, which would change SLED’s mission.

“We’re a criminal investigative agency ... I just want to be sure we stay in that lane,” Lloyd said.

Clif LeBlanc

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