Image: Sanford
JOSHUA DRAKE  /  Reuters
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is term-limited and will leave office in January.
updated 3/18/2010 4:08:18 PM ET 2010-03-18T20:08:18

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has agreed to pay $74,000 to settle charges that his travel and campaign spending violated state ethics laws.

The Republican governor is accused of breaking 37 laws, including improperly using pricey plane tickets for a trip to Argentina where he saw the mistress he infamously called his soul mate.

Under a consent agreement signed Thursday, Sanford doesn't admit guilt but does not contest the charges either.

The charges were brought after Associated Press investigations into the governor's commercial travel and flights on state planes. Sanford also is accused of improperly reimbursing himself with campaign money.

The State Ethics Commission approved the agreement Thursday. Sanford is term-limited and will leave office in January.

Also Thursday, a judge in Charleston finalized the governor's divorce, ending his 20-year marriage to wife Jenny.

Court records show Family Court Judge Jocelyn Cate issued her ruling Thursday, less than three weeks after the first lady appeared, asking to end the marriage because of her husband's adultery.

The couple have four children. Jenny Sanford has moved with her sons to their beachfront home along the South Carolina coast.

Mark Sanford is the first sitting governor to ever get a divorce in South Carolina. The state became the last in the country to allow divorce in 1949.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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