Official: Lt. Gov. Ard lied during ethics probe

Lt. Gov. Ken Ard / FILE

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's top ethics official says Lt. Gov. Ken Ard faced his biggest ethics fines for using campaign money on a vacation, clothes and iPads after inaccurate information was provided to investigators.

Ard on Thursday paid a $48,400 fine and agreed to reimburse the state Ethics Commission $12,500 for its investigation. He'll also repay his campaign about $12,000.

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Ethics Commission Executive Director Herb Hayden said Friday the biggest fines were for offenses where Ard and his lawyer provided inaccurate explanations of spending to investigators.

That included a visit to Washington to talk with U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham about South Carolina issues. A Senate lawyer told investigators Ard only asked Graham's office for tour arrangements and didn't meet Graham.

Ard lawyer Butch Bowers said his client intended to meet with Graham.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

What do you think of the Ethics Commission conclusion that Lt. Gov. Ard was not truthful to investigators? Do you think the fine is sufficient punishment or should Ard face further sanctions? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.