Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford did not improperly use state money to pay for trips to New York and South America to see his Argentine mistress, state law enforcement officials concluded Thursday, as the governor reiterated that he has no plans to step down despite mounting pressure to do so.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division reviewed Sanford’s travel records and “found absolutely no misuse of funds,” agency director Reggie Lloyd said in an interview.
Also Thursday, the company that was to publish Sanford’s book on fiscal conservatism, to be titled “Within Our Means” and scheduled for publication in March 2010, announced that it had canceled the book deal.
Lingle furlough plan blocked
Honolulu – A Hawaii judge on Thursday blocked Gov. Linda Lingle from forcing thousands of public employees to take three unpaid days off per month, dealing her a setback in efforts to tame a huge state budget gap.
Lingle wanted her furlough plan to start as early as Monday. Citing a $729 million budget shortfall over the next two years, she said a fiscal emergency existed that empowered her to unilaterally impose what amounted to a nearly 14 percent pay cut.
But three state employee unions, basing part of their challenge on constitutional grounds, asserted that Lingle was overstepping her authority. Circuit Court Judge Karl K. Sakamoto on Thursday agreed and issued an injunction against Lingle.