By JIM DAVENPORT
The Associated Press
Monday, November 23, 2009; 2:33 PM
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford faces ethics charges he broke state laws more than three dozen times by violating rules on airplane travel and campaign money, according to details of the allegations released Monday.
The civil charges, which carry a maximum $74,000 in fines, stem from a three-month investigation by the state ethics commission and could be pivotal in a push by some lawmakers to remove him from office. The state attorney general is deciding whether the governor would face any criminal charges.
The allegations include 18 instances in which Sanford is accused of improperly buying first- and business-class airline tickets, violating state law requiring lowest-cost travel; nine times of improperly using state-owned aircraft for travel to political and personal events, including a stop at a discount hair salon; and 10 times he improperly reimbursed himself with campaign cash.
Sanford’s attorneys and spokesman did not immediately respond to messages left seeking comment.
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