COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A legislative panel is moving forward on an allegation that a state lawmaker broke ethics laws when he used a state-owned plane to fly a conservative pundit to Columbia.

The State newspaper reports the House Ethics Committee’s decision Tuesday means the panel found enough evidence that Rep. Bill Chumley might have committed the violation.

In March, the Spartanburg Republican sponsored conservative commentator Walter Williams’ flight from the Washington area to push for a bill that initially sought to nullify the federal health care law. The state Aeronautics Commission says it would have charged a paying customer $6,400.

Chumley said Williams’ testimony was official state business. Chumley told the newspaper Tuesday he was unaware of the ethics panel’s decision and would not say if he would fight the charge.

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Information from: The State, http://www.thestate.com