House Ethics dismisses case on state plane use

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A legislative panel has dismissed allegations that Republican Rep. Bill Chumley of Woodruff inappropriately used state aircraft.

The House Ethics Committee voted unanimously Monday after hearing from Chumley and his attorney. After deliberating behind closed doors, the panel found insufficient proof that Chumley knowingly violated state law or economically benefited from the trip.

Chumley sponsored conservative commentator Walter Williams’ flight from the Washington area to Columbia in March to push for a bill that initially sought to nullify the federal health care law. The state Aeronautics Commission says it would have charged a paying customer $6,400 for the plane.

Attorney Reese Boyd pointed to advice Chumley received from the committee’s former attorney, who gave an opinion that the flight would not violate the law.

Chumley says justice has been served.

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