Harrell rejects Sanford impeachment resolution

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - Speaker Bobby Harrell rejected a resolution to impeach embattled Republican Governor Mark Sanford, calling the measure "out of order."

South Carolina legislator Greg Delleney (R-Chester) said he intended to introduce the resolution during the legislative body's special session to discuss unemployment benefits for the state's thousands of jobless Tuesday.

Harrell said he would entertain the resolution again in November when the lawmakers reconvene, which would then be sent into committee until after the new year. An ethics investigation is expected to be complete in November as well, and many members of the Legislature want to wait until that report is published to pursue an impeachment of the governor.

[Read the impeachment resolution (pdf).]

Gov. Sanford, meanwhile, is pleading his case to the state Supreme Court, trying to keep that same ethics report out of the hands of House members. His attorneys say Sanford didn't allow the release of all the information in the report, just the fact he was being investigated.

Opposition claim the law states people being investigated by the State Ethics Committee cannot waive confidentiality to internal commission materials.

If an impeachment push was made by state legislators, it would have to start in the House.

Copyright 2009 WCSC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this article.