Officials with Gov. Mark Sanford's office and the State Law Enforcement Division, in a second round of questions and answers provided to a House committee considering impeachment, do not answer who got in touch with Sanford during his five-day trip to Argentina in June.
Sanford Chief of Staff Scott English said in answers to committee questions that he was handed a phone on June 23 by Sanford legislative liaison Marissa Crawford and Sanford was on the other end of the phone. English said during the conversation he did not ask the governor where he was, and based on conversations with other staff members, believed Sanford was hiking the Appalachian Trail until he read a State newspaper story on June 24 saying Sanford had returned from Argentina.
Sanford has maintained that he could remain in contact through an unnamed back channel, and it was that person who called Sanford and told him to check in with his office after the media began questioning his whereabouts. None of the questions submitted by the committee ask who the back channel was, and none of the responses offer that person's name.
English said in his statement that if there was a way to contact Sanford, he was unaware of it. English said the usual protocol was to leave a message on Sanford's cell phone and he would return the call.SLED director Reggie Lloyd said that he was assured by Sanford's staff that contact with the governor was possible.
Lloyd also said that SLED had no reason to be concerned about Sanford location or health, and that they stopped trying to contact Sanford after receiving a cell phone "hit" on an Atlanta tower. Lloyd said Sanford's SLED-owned vehicle was not equipped with a tracking device.