House Dems to Haley: Make Ethics Probe Public
Democrats ask Haley to follow former Gov. Sanford's lead
House Democrats want Gov. Nikki Haley to take a confidentiality cue from an unlikely source: disgraced former Gov. Mark Sanford.
A circuit court judge dismissed an ethics lawsuit filed by Republican activist John Rainey against Haley last week, but that case could still land in front of the House Ethics Committee. If it does, Democrats want Haley to waive her right to confidentiality.
“The public deserves to know if their governor is under investigation,” said Minority Leader Harry Ott. “If a complaint is filed against the Governor and she has nothing to hide, this is a great opportunity for her to live up to her ‘transparency’ rhetoric.”
If Haley does not waive her right to confidentiality, the Ethics Committee could not even disclose whether or not a complaint had been filed against her.
In a press conference Tuesday, Democrats said that former Gov. Sanford set a precedent that Haley should follow when he waived his right to confidentiality during an investigation into his alleged misuse use of taxpayer funds in 2009.
"Gov. Haley has a real choice here," Rep. Butler Garrick said. "Does she hide in the shadows or does she open up the curtains on her administration?"
But Haley's office continued to call the charges unfounded and made no indication that the governor intended to waive her privacy rights.
"If there is an ethics complaint about matters that took place years ago — and that have already been answered again and again — the regular procedures should be followed," Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey said.
"We’re confident that the ethics committee will come to the same conclusion as every other entity that Mr. Rainey has shopped this nonsense to — that it is entirely baseless.”