SC bill opens ethics queries to public sooner

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Senate has unanimously approved legislation that would open up ethics investigations to public scrutiny as soon as decisions to pursue charges are made.

The 38-0 Senate vote on Wednesday sends the bill back to the House.

It's 1 of several measures legislators have taken up this year in the wake of a scandal involving Gov. Mark Sanford that led to investigations of his travel practices.

Sanford agreed to pay a record $74,000 fine for 37 travel-related ethics charges in March. He'd fought plans to release the full investigation last fall but the state Supreme Court said he had months earlier waived confidentiality.

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