In the midst of a legal battle with the South Carolina General Assembly, Gov. Mark Sanford seems to have settled into a near-normal routine.
Sanford made several stops in York County on Wednesday, appearing on WRHI radio and making some business stops. Eyewitness News caught up with Sanford to ask him about the ongoing ethics investigation into his use of state and private airplanes.
The governor said people he talks to are more worried about jobs and the economy. He said the people want him to focus on his job during his last 14 months in office, and they're telling him so.
"’We want you to serve these last 14 months, but what I ask of you is to make it the most productive 14 months that you've been in office,’ and I'm trying to do just that," Sanford said.
However, state lawmakers said impeachment proceedings are coming without a doubt. That's why the General Assembly is battling the governor in the state Supreme Court. Lawmakers said they have the right to see the preliminary report on the ethics probe that's expected in a few weeks.
Sanford, however, said his political opponents plan to use the report to impeach him, without having his side of the story.
He said what should be a serious process is instead little more than political payback by his many enemies.
"It's kind of crazy, no matter how much I'm not liked by some in Columbia, to use something so serious really in the world of politics," Sanford said.
But some state lawmakers accuse the governor of stonewalling and trying to buy time. Rock Hill Republican Rep. Gary Simrill told Eyewitness News that the governor is claiming one thing but doing another.
"It's hypocrisy. We were hearing before that transparency is the order of the day, but when it gets to the bottom line, he attempts to block," Simrill said. "As part of due process, the governor will have every opportunity to rebut any findings in that report."
Simrill also pointed out that the impeachment resolution being drawn up has nothing to do with Sanford's travel, which is the subject of the ethics probe.
A majority of members of the Republican caucus want to remove Sanford from office for leaving the country for a week without telling anyone where he was.
Back in June, Sanford told his staff to say he was hiking the Appalachian Trail while he was actually carrying on an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina.
Many Republican House members call that act a dereliction of duty and misconduct worthy of impeachment.
Sanford argues that, though it was wrong, it doesn't rise to the level of an impeachable offense compared to the actions of other governors who've been removed from office.
The state Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments on Oct.19 about whether the preliminary ethics report should be given to the legislature.