Democrats accuse Gov. Haley of ethics violations - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Democrats accuse Gov. Haley of ethics violations

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COLUMBIA, S.C. - The South Carolina Democratic Party says Gov. Nikki Haley has broken state ethics laws by violating campaign donation and reporting rules, but the State Ethics Commission says it doesn’t see any violation.

The party says there are two major problems in Haley’s most recent campaign disclosure report:

  1.  Haley got two campaign contributions of the maximum amount, $3,500, on the same date from a “Ryan Company” in Texas. There’s no record of one of the donations being returned.
  2. Haley did not disclose the occupations for ten large donors.

SC Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison says, “Either Nikki Haley and her campaign doesn’t know the information for these donors is in violation of the law, or they do know and are hiding the information from the people of South Carolina.”

But the State Ethics Commission says it doesn’t see any violations at this point. Campaign disclosure laws require campaigns to maintain a record of the occupations of donors, but their occupations do not have to be listed on the public forms. The Haley campaign says those donors’ occupations are either on file or are being obtained.

Ethics Commission attorney Cathy Hazelwood says on April 30th the agency will run all the campaign disclosure reports to look for excessive contributions. If any are found, the campaigns will be notified. But at this point, there is no violation.

The Haley campaign provided a copy of two checks from two different Texas companies with the same name, Ryan, one in Dallas and the other in Austin. Each was for the maximum allowed, $3,500. But since they’re two different companies, that would not be a violation.

Haley campaign spokesman Rob Godfrey released a statement Thursday afternoon saying, "As the ethics commission said today, there are no ethics violations here. Today's, press conference was nonsense, and nothing more than an attempt by Democrats to distract from the new revelations that Vince Sheheen makes money by getting reduced sentences for violent criminals, including those who victimize law enforcement, woman and children, and violent drug dealers."
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