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Lt. Governor settles ethics violations

Lt. Gov. Ken Ard

Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard announced Thursday he had signed a consent order with the South Carolina Ethics Commission to pay the necessary fines for ethics violations he committed.

The announcement said a personal check was used to reimburse his campaign $12,121.35 and to pay the State Ethics Commission $48,400 in fines and $12,500 in administrative costs. Ard said he hoped to move on. 

As I said from the beginning, I planned to take full responsibility for any mistakes that I have made, and I have done so today. I have consistently strived to be a good steward of every dollar entrusted to me during my time in public service.  I look forward to moving past this and continuing my work for the people of South Carolina in the office of Lieutenant Governor.

The announcement did not say which violations were upheld. In March, Ard was accused of making more than 82 improper purchases with his campaign account and not properly reporting 23 more. Each violation traditionally carries a $2,000 fine.

Ard was elected to the position in 2010 after serving on the Florence County Council. Within two weeks of taking the job, a Columbia Free Times article reported the lieutenant governor had improperly used campaign funds for personal expenses.  The claims were investigated by the Ethics Commission shortly afterwards.

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