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S.C. Supreme Court says Sanford documents must be released

South Carolina's highest court declared the S.C. State Ethics Commission must release any documents related to its investigation of Gov. Mark Sanford that also are turned over to the governor.

The ruling clarifies a Nov. 5 decision that declared the documents - including a disputed investigative report - but which some, including the S.C. Ethics Commission, considered unclear.

The court's verdict upholds House Speaker Bobby Harrell's position that the documents were public. Harrell, R-Charleston, had asked the court to clarify its ruling.

"This court's opinion of November 5, 2009, unambiguously supports the Speaker's position. We therefore order the Commission to immediately make public all documents provided to the Governor during the course of its investigation in the underlying matter," the court wrote in Wednesday's decision.

The decision is somewhat of a moot point, after Sanford's attorneys released the disputed document last week, but could set a precedent for future cases.

To read the complete article, visit www.thestate.com.

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