June 19, 2007
South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel has been indicted by a federal grand jury for distribution of cocaine.
The indictments accuse Ravenel and another man of distributing less than 500 grams of cocaine starting in late 2005.
South Carolina governor Mark Sanford suspended Ravenel immediately following the indictments.
Ravenel is the state chairman for former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign. He was elected treasurer in 2006.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford issued this news release following the indictments:
Gov. Mark Sanford issued an executive order today immediately suspending state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel following the release of an indictment against the Constitutional officer:
"Given the grave nature of these charges and what is alleged in this indictment, we're left with no choice but to suspend Treasurer Ravenel immediately," Gov. Sanford said. "These are obviously very serious allegations that we're constitutionally bound to act upon, and they'll ultimately be decided by the courts."
The governor said he plans to make a decision on an interim appointment as soon as possible.
Pursuant to the South Carolina Constitution (Article VI, Section 8), the governor is empowered to suspend statewide, county or city officials indicted on criminal charges for crimes of "moral turpitude," generally understood to mean crimes that involve acts of fraud, deception or other morally culpable conduct.