South Carolina State Ethics Commission

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The South Carolina State Ethics Commission is a independent campaign finance disciplinary agency that is responsible for enforcing most of South Carolina's campaign finance laws.

Mission Statement

The State Ethics Commission is an agency of state government responsible for the enforcement of the Ethics Reform Act of 1991 to restore public trust in government. The mission of the State Ethics Commission is to carry out this mandate by ensuring compliance with the state's laws on financial disclosure, lobbyist/lobbyist's principal disclosure and campaign disclosure; regulating lobbyists and lobbying organizations; issuing advisory opinions interpreting the statute; educating public officeholders and the public on the requirements of the state's ethics laws; conducting criminal and administrative investigations of violations of the state's ethics laws; and prosecuting violators either administratively or criminally.[1]


The South Carolina State Ethics Commission was created on an act of the South Carolina Legislature in 1975.[2]


The Commission is governed by a ten person board which consists of one member from each of the six congressional districts in South Carolina, three at-large members, and a Asssistant Attorney General from the South Carolina Attorney General's office.[3]

Selection of members

Campaign finance discipline

The South Carolina State Ethics Commission is responsible for beginning the campaign finance complaint process and prosecuting civil violations of the state's campaign finance law. The first step is to file a complaint with the South Carolina State Ethics Commission. It is up to the Ethics Commission to determine any probable cause in a complaint before moving forward with any investigation.[4]

If an investigation moves forward, it is up to the Commission to conduct a full investigation before holding a hearing to determine if someone is found guilty of violating campaign finance law[4]. If someone is found guilty of violating the law, the Commission can recommend a civil fine up to $2,000, other sanctions, or issuing a public reprimand.[4]

All criminal complaints are handled by the South Carolina Attorney General.[4]

External links