COLUMBIA - State Law Enforcement Director Reggie Lloyd said this afternoon that the agency found no wrongdoing or no evidence to suggest the governor misused public funds in his affair with an Argentine mistress.
SLED interviewed Gov. Mark Sanford Wednesday after the governor admitted an affair with a woman since identified as Maria Belen Chapur. Sanford said he saw Chapur twice in Argentina and again on trips to New York City in the last year.
Lloyd said the governor was extremely cooperative and provided his own personal documents for the review.
"We've come away with absolutely no evidence or facts to suggest that public funds were misused," Lloyd said.
The governor saw his mistress in Argentina in June 2008 on a state Commerce Department trip and again last week. He saw her in New York City in September and November 2008 and again in February 2009. He was in the city in last November for business with the Republican Governors Association.
Sanford traveled to New York in February with a spiritual adviser with the intent to break off his relationship with Chapur.
The governor recently reimbursed the state about $3,000 for the Argentine leg of the June 2008 Commerce trip.
Lloyd said he had received many requests from legislators and others to investigate the governor, but he won't allow SLED to be used for political gain.
"Sometimes fairness means just standing up and saying, 'There's nothing there,' " Lloyd said.
SLED will forward the complete report to the Attorney General's Office and the State Ethics Commission. It will also be made public.
Minutes after the SLED press conference ended, Sanford's office released the governor's personal travel records in the spirit of "full and complete disclosure and transparency," according to a statement from press secretary Joel Sawyer.
"We're pleased that SLED has concluded its review, which confirms what we've said from day one no public money was used in relation to the governor's
admitted marital infidelity," Sawyer said. "This issue is behind us once and for all."