updated 10/8/2009 4:49:28 AM ET 2009-10-08T08:49:28

A Highway Patrol trooper stopped South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's car for speeding, but let his protective detail driver go without a ticket, an official said Wednesday.

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State Department of Public Safety Director Mark Keel said he had reviewed a recording of the stop and that the State Law Enforcement Division agent will now be cited.

Keel did not say how fast Sanford's car was going Tuesday on Interstate 385, a heavily traveled route between Columbia and Greenville, but the recording shows he was going 85 mph. The maximum speed throughout the state is 70 mph.

Sanford has been dealing with a criminal ethics investigation of his travel practices since he revealed an affair with an Argentine woman in June. State lawmakers have indicated they might try to impeach the Republican governor who has about 15 months left in his term.

In 2006, Sanford's office was highly critical of the lieutenant governor when the Highway Patrol twice stopped him for speeding but did not issue tickets.

Keel said Lance Cpl. R.S. Salter clocked a speeding dark-colored sedan and pulled it over two miles from I-26. Keel said the driver identified himself as SLED agent. When "asked why he was speeding, the agent said he was transporting the governor," Keel said. The trooper did not issue the ticket, Keel said.

Sanford's schedule that day included an economic development announcement in Gaffney in the morning and speech in Easley at a Rotary Club lunch in the afternoon. Sanford left Easley in black Ford Crown Victoria just after wrapping up an interview with a reporter 2 p.m. He had meetings scheduled in Columbia in the afternoon, but no public events, his office said.

Sanford spokesman Ben Fox referred questions about the stop to Keel's agency. SLED Chief Reggie Lloyd did not immediately respond to a message on his cell phone or a text message.

Sanford's ground travel is in a state car operated by a protective detail composed of officers from SLED, the Highway Patrol and Department of Natural Resources.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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