Governor Haley addressing the Ethics committee Tuesday (image credit Lauren Talarico/WLTX)
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - On Tuesday, the South Carolina Ethics Reform Commission held a public meeting and heard from politicians and state agencies.
The commission, created by Governor Nikki Haley, was designed to come up with ways to make politics in South Carolina more ethical.
The Governor and Attorney General Alan Wilson both gave testimonies and took questions from the committee, as did Cathy Hazelwood from the S.C. Ethics Commission.
Hazelwood spoke on behalf of the commission, saying not enough has been done it the past when it comes to prosecuting politicians who break the law.
"We certainly had files that we thought should have had better review and someone should have been criminally prosecuted," said Hazelwood. "Saying that, I understand the burden that those offices have. The solicitors office have got to look at a set of files and if you've got murder and rape on this end, and campaign finance on this end, I can see why it gets further and further to the right. Having said that, often one criminal prosecution can make everyone else sit up straight and do the right thing for six, twelve, eighteen months."
Meanwhile, Governor Haley told the Ethics Reform Commission that whether she agrees with them or not, she will support their recommendations.
"I trust you," said Haley. "I trust the work you've done. I trust everything that you're looking at. What I ask is that you leave no stone unturned and there be no place for any sort of loopholes. I think that there shouldn't be anyone exempt, that everyone should be treated consistently and fairly and I have total faith in you."
The committee is expected to present a final report of their recommendations as to how to make South Carolina a more ethical state by the end of January, 2013.