|Mark Sanford’s final term as governor ends in January. (Cliff Owen/ Associated Press/ File)|
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s top prosecutor said yesterday that he will not criminally prosecute Governor Mark Sanford for travel and campaign reimbursements that drew dozens of civil charges and the largest ethics fine in state history.
Attorney General Henry McMaster said the governor’s use of pricey airline tickets, travel to personal and political events on state aircraft, and questionable campaign reimbursements had not risen to a criminal level.
“Those punishments are sufficient,’’ McMaster said yesterday, referring to Sanford’s civil ethics charges and censure by state lawmakers. “The time has come for our state to put this controversy behind us.’’
Sanford said he hoped the state could now move on.
“While I’ve acknowledged repeatedly my own moral failing in this matter, we feel confirmed in our consistent belief that this administration has always been a stalwart defender of the taxpayer,’’ Sanford said in a statement.
The GOP governor’s second and final term ends in January.