Stavrinakis among Dems elected to House Ethics Committee

      COLUMBIA, S.C. WCIV) -- Leon Stavrinakis was among five House Democrats elected to the House Ethics Committee on Tuesday.{}

      Stavrinakis was joined by{}Reps. Ronnie Sabb of Williamsburg, David Weeks of Sumter, Chandra Dillard of Greenville, and Elizabeth Munnerlyn of Marlboro.

      Until this year, there were five Republicans and only one Democrat on the House Ethics Committee. The full House voted to have an equal number of Democrats and Republicans on the committee, and add two additional seats.

      "I commend my colleagues for changing the partisan makeup of the House Ethics Committee," said Representative Chandra Dillard, who chaired the House Democratic Ethics Study Committee. "This is just one of a series of changes that this body has to make up to regain the trust of the citizens of South Carolina."

      "We have to prove to the people of South Carolina that this committee is fair but firm," said Representative Ronnie Sabb. "I consider this a great honor to be elected to such an important committee. Ethics is not a partisan issue, and I'm glad our Republican colleagues have finally come to that realization.""Restoring the public's confidence in this body will be my number one priority," said Representative Leon Stavrinakis, a former prosecutor and member of the House Democratic Ethics Study Committee. "I am encouraged that this was the first order of business of the new session.""This is a step in the right direction," said Representative Elizabeth Munnerlyn. "A balanced and bipartisan ethics committee should have happened a long time ago, but we're glad it's finally a reality. Now it's time to get to work.""Bringing balance to the Ethics Committee is a victory for South Carolina," said Representative David Weeks. "This committee should have never been partisan in the first place. Taking partisanship out of the House Ethics Committee was a much needed step in the right direction."