SC House votes to expand its ethics panel

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina House has expanded its ethics committee to include an equal number of Republicans and Democrats.

The House voted Tuesday to add four members to the Ethics Committee.

Under the new rule, the committee will consist of five members of each party, though Republicans in the majority party will choose the chairman.

The newly elected committee met Tuesday evening and chose Rep. Kenny Bingham of Cayce as chairman.

State law says the House and Senate ethics committees handle complaints against their members. The state Ethics Commission handles complaints against all other public officials.

Being on the committee had been a low-profile job until earlier this year, when members for the first time investigated a governor. They cleared Gov. Nikki Haley of accusations she lobbied while in the House.

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