Commentary: Ethics probe of Sanford is a must

Attorney General Henry McMaster is right to call for a state Ethics Commission investigation into Mark Sanford's use of state aircraft. Taxpayers need to know if the governor broke state law, and so far, Sanford prefers to complain rather than fully explain.

McMaster requested the probe on Thursday after an AssociatedPress story raised questions about whether Sanford used the aircraft for personal and political purposes. If the governor did, he broke a state law that says aircraft can only be used for official business.

The AP compared flight records with the governor's official calendar. Among the findings:

Sanford flew from a county GOP convention in Myrtle Beach to Columbia, where his only recorded appointment was for a haircut.

Sanford flew from his son Marshall's football game in Bishopville to Charlotte, where the governor caught a commercial flight to Dallas for a gathering of Republican donors.

Sanford flew from a book-signing in Mount Pleasant to Aiken for a campaign donor's 65 {+t}{+h} birthday.

Rather than offer either reasonable explanations or an apology, Sanford has attacked the AP. Also, he implies we should be thankful he didn't use state airplanes more often.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Rock Hill Herald.