South Carolina Lt. Gov. resigns amid ethics charges
March 9th, 2012
12:35 PM ET
10 years ago

South Carolina Lt. Gov. resigns amid ethics charges

(CNN) – South Carolina Lt. Gov. Ken Ard announced Friday he was resigning after an investigation by the Palmetto State's ethics commission found that he misused campaign funds.

The inquiry centered upon whether or not Ard used funds allocated to his 2010 political campaign for personal items, including clothing, electronics and personal travel.

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Ard, a Republican, ultimately admitted to violating state election law in a signed consent order to the ethics commission. The order mandated he pay $48,400 in fines for his misuse of campaign funds, as well as reimburse the state $12,500 for administration costs related to the investigation.

In a statement, Ard said he alone was responsible for the campaign spending discrepancies, and that he regretted putting his supporters and constituents through the ethics investigation process.

"During my campaign, it was my responsibility to make sure things were done correctly," Ard said in a statement. "I did not do that. There are no excuses nor is there need to share blame. It is my fault that the events of the past year have taken place."

Ard added, "I am deeply sorry and take full responsibility for the entire situation."

Prior to his election as South Carolina's lieutenant governor, Ard served as president of the state Senate and was a member of the Florence County Council. Before his political career Ard ran his family's automotive business.

In a statement, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, also a Republican, thanked Ard and his wife for their service.

"They are good people who have given much of their time and efforts to Florence and the state as a whole," Haley said. "I valued Ken's partnership and wish Ken and his family all of the best going forward. I look forward to continuing the progress South Carolina has made in the last 15 months with our next Lieutenant Governor."

South Carolina Republican Party chairman Chad Connelly wrote in a statement, "Lieutenant Governor Ard has taken responsibility for his actions. His resignation will help our state move past this sad and unfortunate incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ken and his family during this time."

The South Carolina statehouse has seen more than its share of ethics questions in the past several years. Former Gov. Mark Sanford fought impeachment battles after disappearing on a mysterious trip in the summer of 2009. The two-term Republican governor eventually admitted he had gone to Argentina to see his mistress-a woman he called his "soul mate."

Filed under: South Carolina
soundoff (29 Responses)

    A republican violating ethics once again. What else is new?

    March 9, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. Patrick in Minnesota

    All the while, these people try to restrict voting privileges. What hypocrites.

    March 9, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. racegirl1

    Funny, republicans always looking at democrats why don't they start looking in their own backyard for these things. Bet everyone will be silent, you won't hear a word on this issue from them.

    March 9, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. MTATL67

    Yet another thing the GOP does not need "Ethics Violations".

    March 9, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Bill

    Now if they can get rid of that loser Nikki Haley, they can begin to regain some respect down there in SC. Of course, they still have DeMint, and others of his ilk.

    March 9, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Good, get rid of him. No tolerance for any of this BS. But I'm not sure why he resigned. Democrats never do. They just stay in office and promise not to get caught again. Charlie Rangel is still in the House. Tax cheat Timmie is still in the Whitehouse.

    March 9, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  7. Reggie from LA

    Dang that Obama!!
    Look at what he's done! He's influenced all these things happening. Look at our fuel costs! Obama influenced specualators to speculate fuel costs. He made companies go overseas from 30 years ago with his rules and regulations. Heck, we can just blame everything on him. Don't even try to blame Nikki Haley. She didn't know what she's been signin' off on.

    March 9, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Bessy

    AW !! Caught him ! At least he has the decency to resign once he was caught.
    More than can be said about most of the losers.

    March 9, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Obviously this is Obama's fault, too. *rolls eyes*

    March 9, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. Malory Archer

    Sure you will racegirl1! They'll either accuse the dems of much worse behavior (although they never provide facts to back up their claims) or blame the "librul" media.

    March 9, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Why does it seem that we hear more about Republicans misusing campaign funds for personal items than we hear about Democrats doing the same? Could it be a sport among the GOP to see who can take more and not get caught?
    Oh, well, at least the Democrats have Lyndon Johnson and Mayor Daley of Chicago winning elections by making sure all the cemetery residents got to vote for them.

    March 9, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. drod3

    Another Republican goes down in flames for ethics violations. The Republicans know their in big trouble in November when their cast of clowns keep showing America that they're a bunch of fools that don't have a clue what is good for the country. They don't understand that a President needs to work for all the people not just the crazy Republican base that likes to grab headlines and dictate to the Republican party what they need to do. The Tea Potty poison is wearing off and some Republicans feel they can someday soon be a contributing factor for the good of the country working together with Democrats for a meaningful recovery from the failed BUSH-Republican experiment.

    March 9, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  13. Texas Doc

    No way, an unethical Republican?

    March 9, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    The inquiry centered upon whether or not Ard used funds allocated to his 2010 political campaign for personal items, including clothing, electronics and personal travel.
    Personal travel? That has a bad ringing echo to it. The SC Republicans seem unusually agreeable on moving past this investigation. Reminds of kids in a schoolyard getting their stories straight as to why Jimmy is crying and has a cut lip.

    "He fell."
    "That's right."
    "He tripped and fell...."
    "...while he was running."

    March 9, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. chrisnot

    Well, look at it this way.., this guy accepted full responsibility for his actions. Now, he didn't say why he did it, but, he said he and he alone was responsible. Good for him. Hmmm? Isn't there an active presidential candidate who has suffered some of the same ethical issues and continues to be in denial?

    March 9, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. Wake up people

    More lying, thieving Rethuglicans... What's new? Where is the outrage? If this were a Democrat we would never hear the end of it.

    March 9, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    He should have invoked the Vitter defense, said he had been forgiven by Jesus, and he could have kept his job.

    March 9, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    There is also Rep. Walsh, who earns an award from a Christian Conservative group while owing 117K in child support. But h's ok, because the Lord has forgiven him.

    March 9, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. Jake

    let me guess...rigging the vote for one of the two states Gingrich has won? or just caught in a scandal with Nikki Haley that would make our skin crawl!?

    March 9, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    Ran an automotive business? Maybe he can hire Mitt after he loses.

    March 9, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. The-Least-Unelectable

    The Republican field of candidates have done about all they can do to alienate most of the general electorate, except the racists and the very old evangelical whites.

    March 9, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. george of the jungle

    and another repo bites the dust. It's thoses family know.

    March 9, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. Ferret out the BS

    He isn't the first nor will he be the last!

    March 9, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. Steve, New York City

    What is the deal with South Carolina? First Gov Sanford, now this guy?
    Well, at least no one is claiming that he had an affair with Gov Haley. ūüôā

    March 9, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. John in Brooklyn

    Hey teabaggers!!! Where's your righteous outrage now!?

    March 9, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
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