The Sanford saga continues

The South Carolina governor has reportedly been located; he's hiking on the Appalachian Trail

By Salon Staff

Published June 23, 2009 2:55PM (EDT)

The Case of the Missing Governor has, apparently, been solved: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is reportedly safe and hiking the Appalachian Trail. He's even checked in with his office, after having maintained radio silence for four days, and according to a spokesman, Joel Sawyer, he was "somewhat taken aback by all of the interest this trip has gotten." He'll be back Wednesday, Sawyer said.

But before all this got resolved, the story only got weirder.

On Monday, shortly after the story broke nationally, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer's office said that it had been informed by the governor's staff that they'd reached Sanford, and that they knew where he was. But Monday night, Bauer issued a statement in which he said he'd called Sanford's office asking to speak immediately with the governor and "that request was denied."

"[T]he governor’s chief of staff does not know where the governor is, and has not communicated with the governor since he left South Carolina last Thursday,” Bauer said. “I cannot take lightly that his staff has not had communication with him for more than four days, and that no one, including his own family, knows his whereabouts.”

Later Monday night, Sawyer released a statement of his own, saying the governor was hiking the Appalachian Trail, though he wouldn't say where on the trail Sanford was or who he was with (understandable, given the security concerns involved in a sitting governor hiking without any sort of police protection). And Sawyer said he'd not spoken with Sanford on Monday.

Salon Staff

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