South Carolina's Lt. Gov. Ken Ard resigns

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March 9, 2012

By: Lauren Rodgers

Former South Carolina Lt. Gov. Ken Ard resigned this morning amid a criminal investigation into his campaign spending.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina: Lt. Gov. Ken Ard resigned this morning. According to the Associated Press, Ard wrote a letter to Senate leaders and Gov. Nikki Haley apologizing for his misconduct and acknowledging "it was his responsibility to make sure the money was spent correctly."[1]

In July 2011, we reported that Ard was under investigation. The South Carolina Ethics Commission began reviewing his post-election spending in February 2011.[2] When the investigation concluded, he was cited with 107 ethics violations. He settled with the commission in July by paying a hefty fine, covering the cost of the investigation and reimbursing his campaign for over $12,121 in unauthorized expenditures[3], but the commission's report also noted that Ard misled investigators about purchases made with campaign funds on more than one occasion.[4]

At the time, Ard rebuked criticism, arguing "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."[5] It seems, though, that this is one obstacle he won't be able to move past.

Under state law, state Senate Pro Tem, Glenn McConnell, will become Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina.

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