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More Trouble For Sanford’s DHEC Nominee March 7, 2007

Posted by fitsnews in SC Politics.

Sanford Bar Graphs


FITSNews – March 7, 2007 – Gov. Mark Sanford‘s second choice to chair the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) board failed to terminate a potential conflict of interest with one environmental group and may have shown favoritism toward another in discharging his official duties.

According to documents obtained exclusively by FITSNews, DHEC Board member Edwin Cooper continued to serve as a donor to the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League despite earlier promises to “revoke” his association with the group.

“I have been a member of the Coastal Conservation League for some years,” Cooper said during an April 2004 DHEC board meeting. “I will revoke my membership as of today.”

Yet Cooper’s name appears in Conservation League literature as an active organizational donor for the recently-concluded November 1, 2005 – October 31, 2006 fundraising period. According to the literature, Cooper and his wife donated somewhere between $5,000 – $9,999 to the organization over that time period.

Documents also show Cooper appearing to give preferential treatment to Ducks Unlimited staffer Billy Webster, a former DHEC employee.

“Billy is a former DHEC staffer,” Cooper wrote in a May 31, 2006 e-mail to staff regarding Webster’s request for a permit. “Please look into this and see if we can help. No need to slow up the good guys if we can help it.”

Sources close to the State Senator Harvey Peeler‘s office have declared Cooper’s nomination “D.O.A. (Dead On Arrival),” prompting the governor to privately name Greenville developer Bo Aughtry as his next choice for the post.

Sources close to the governor’s office say Sanford is “playing a waiting game” on formally announcing Aughtry’s nomination.

“They’re waiting so that the governor can save face after what happened with Ralph,” one source told FITSNews.

Sanford’s first choice to head the DHEC board, former S.C. Rep. Ralph Norman, was yanked from consideration prior to reaching the nomination phase over strenuous objections from the environmental lobby.



1. Junior - March 7, 2007

Uhhhh. Hello. Umm. Is this thing on? Um, I used to pick up trash along the highway when I was in the Key Club. Mr. Guvnor, pick me, oh ohh, pick me!

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