The alleged ethics violations of the governor — a matter thought to have been settled just weeks ago — has been reassessed and reopened by the Republican-controlled House Ethics Committee, which is asking for more information from the governor's office and former employer Lexington Medical Center by noon May 25.
A Democratic-pushed resolution landed Gov. Nikki Haley's alleged ethics violations back in the committee Friday. The governor was accused of lobbying for former employers while she served as a state representative.
But Richland Democrat Rep. James E. Smith Jr. introduced the legislation to have the committee reopen the case Tuesday.
The ethics committee is headed by Aiken Republican Rep. J. Roland Smith. Rep. Laurie Slade Funderburk of Kershaw is the lone Democrat on the committee and was the sole dissenter in the May 2 vote that cleared Haley.
According to the resolution, "although the committee found reason to investigate the alleged ethics violations filed against Haley, the committee promptly voted to dismiss the complaint." The resolution contends that ethics violations "should not be treated lightly or hastily dismissed without a full and complete vetting of the facts ... It is the duty of the House Ethics Committee to maintain the utmost integrity of the ethics accountability system as it pertains to current and former House members."
The governor's spokesman Rob Godfrey reacted to the news of the complaint being reopened quickly.
"Let's be very clear: this is a complaint from a bigot who called the governor a 'terrorist' and the Democrat Party chairman — and or attorney or expert that's looked at it. It's shameful," Godfrey said in an email to Patch. "But make no mistake: Governor Haley will continue to stay focused on the job taxpayers hired her to do, create jobs, reform our broken state government and move South Carolina forward."
S.C. Forward Progress founder Tyler Jones saw the move differently.
"If Governor Haley thinks this is a witch hunt, she should take that up with the members of her own party who just voted unanimously to reopen this case," he wrote Patch.