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Panel today to consider Sanford impeachment

A special House subcommittee will meet for the second time at 10:30 a.m. today to consider Gov. Mark Sanford's impeachment.

The seven-member legislative panel is expected to discuss Sanford's use of state-owned airplanes during the meeting. The panel will meet again Thursday to talk about the governor's questionable campaign reimbursements, totaling less than $3,000, and his use of first- and business-class airplane tickets, despite state law that requires the cheapest accommodations possible.

State Rep. Jim Harrison, the Columbia Republican who is leading the impeachment talks, wants the subcommittee to break up the topics included in a more than 1,000-page State Ethics Commission investigation over several meetings.

The legislators are expected to meet again Monday and Dec. 9, if needed.

They will decide whether to advance an impeachment resolution to the full House Judiciary Committee.

State Rep. Greg Delleney, R-Chester, has filed the resolution to remove Sanford, based on his five-day disappearance in June to Argentina. Delleney wants Sanford impeached for serious misconduct.

The State Ethics Commission charged Sanford with 37 possible violations related to using his public office for personal financial gain. The civil charges come with a maximum of $74,000 in fines.

Attorney General Henry McMaster is reviewing the possibility of criminal wrongdoing.

Harrison wants the full House Judiciary Committee to finish its consideration of Sanford's impeachment by Christmas.

The governor is not expected to attend today's meeting. He will be in Moncks Corner at 11:15 a.m. to visit a local business and then travel to Georgetown to meet with a Rotary club at 1 p.m.

Harrison has said the governor is invited to testify before the panel whenever he would like, but Sanford has not been subpoenaed to do so.

Today's meeting is open to the public. It will be held in Room 101 of the Blatt Building on the State House grounds.