A state panel  slapped South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) with 37 ethics charges relating to his use of state resources and campaign dollars.

This afternoon's announcement ends a three-month inquiry into a host of ethics allegations previously lodged against Sanford, all of which the South Carolina governor has consistently denied.

It is now up to the state's attorney general to decide whether to press criminal charges against Sanford.

However, as that process commences, state lawmakers are forging ahead with their effort to remove Sanford from office before his final term expires.

Those impeachment proceedings still face serious hurdles over the next few months — including two committee votes, one of which will take place on Tuesday, and final approval in both the state's House and Senate, which could occur by January. Sanford, in the meantime, has dismissed any suggestion he step down before his term concludes, instead blaming his political enemies for stirring dissent.