(Reuters) – South Carolina lawmakers on Friday cleared Republican Governor Nikki Haley of ethics charges that accused her of illegally lobbying on behalf of her employers while a member of the legislature.
The Republican-led House of Representatives’ Ethics Committee voted to dismiss the charges during a private meeting.
The decision came after the panel conducted a public hearing on Thursday in response to allegations stemming from Haley’s prior work as a business development consultant for an engineering firm and a fundraiser for a hospital foundation.
In a statement on Friday, Haley praised the panel and referred to the charges as “attempts at political distraction.”
“The Ethics Committee did its job thoroughly, professionally, and well,” Haley said. “It’s just a shame that our judicial and legislative bodies have had to waste so much of their time on phony political charges that never had any evidence behind them or any basis in fact.”