Gov. Mark Sanford admitted an extramarital affair and then successfully fought to hang on to his office. Thursday’s decision to pay an Ethics Commission fine and not admit guilt in the case against him may end the legal case against the governor.
JUNE 24. Sanford is met at an Atlanta airport by a reporter from The State newspaper. Staffers had told the public that Sanford was hiking the Appalachian Trail. Sanford admits to a reporter he has been to Argentina but says he has been there alone. In an 18-minute speech later that day, Sanford admits he has been carrying on an extramarital affair and had been visiting his lover, Maria Belen Chapur, for five days, including Father’s Day weekend. Emails between Sanford and Chapur, sent to The State, confirm the affair.
JUNE 25. Sanford admits to seeing his lover on a 2008 taxpayer-funded trade mission to Argentina and offers to pay back the expenses for his travel. Later that week, he reimburses the state Department of Commerce $3,300.
JULY 1. Sanford tells The Associated Press of Chapur: “I will be able to die knowing that I had met my soul mate.” In a wide-ranging interview, he also admits to “crossing lines” with other women. Calls for Sanford to resign grow louder.
JULY 2. First lady Jenny Sanford issues a statement saying she is willing to forgive her husband.
JULY 6. The S.C. Republican Party votes to censure Sanford. A majority of Senate lawmakers had already have called on the governor to resign.
AUG. 7. Jenny Sanford moves out of the Governor’s Mansion, taking the couple’s four sons. They now live in the couple’s Sullivan’s Island home.
AUG. 18. Jenny Sanford tells Vogue magazine her husband was in the midst of a midlife crisis and he was “just obsessed” with seeing Chapur.
AUG. 28. Sanford discloses the S.C. Ethics Commission is investigating his use of the state aircraft, his use of business-class airline tickets and his use of private planes
SEPT. 8. S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell urges Sanford to resign. He declines to discuss impeachment.
SEPT. 9. The House Republican Caucus, which controls the S.C. House, calls on Sanford to resign.
SEPT. 30. Sanford asks the S.C. Supreme Court to shield a preliminary S.C. Ethics Commission investigative report from House lawmakers weighing his impeachment.
OCT. 2. The House Democratic Caucus calls for Sanford to resign, meaning the body is near unanimous in its desire to see the governor quit.
NOV. 5. The S.C. Supreme Court says the S.C. Ethics Commission investigative report must be made public.
NOV. 23. The S.C. Ethics Commission charges Sanford with 37 violations of state ethics laws regarding his use of state aircraft, his use of business-class airline tickets and his use of campaign funds.
NOV. 24. A seven-member House panel weighing impeachment meets for the first time.
DEC. 9. The House impeachment panel, in its fourth meeting, rejects a bid to impeach Sanford and backs a resolution to censure the governor.
DEC. 11. Jenny Sanford files for divorce in Charleston a day after an ABC News interview airs.
JAN. 13. A House impeachment panel censures Sanford, the first time the House has reprimanded a sitting governor. A Senate censure resolution has stalled.
FEB. 4. Jenny Sanford’s memoir “Staying True” debuts. The book, which details the Sanfords’ marriage, eventually rises to No. 4 on the New York Times Best Seller List.
FEB. 26. A judge grants the Sanfords divorce, effectively ending the couple’s 20-year marriage.
MARCH 18. Sanford agrees to pay $74,000 in fines to end the S.C. Ethics Commission case against him. A Charleston Family Court Judge also finalizes the Sanfords’ divorce.