SC Dems call on Lt. Gov. to step down for ethics violations, lies

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Days after the South Carolina Ethics Commission Director said Lt. Gov. Ken Ard provided inaccurate explanations of spending to investigators, state Democrats are calling on Ard to step down.

Dick Harpootlian, the South Carolina Democratic Party's chairman, says Ard should resign from his post after what he said were repeated lies to the ethics commission.

"The Lieutenant Governor is a position of public trust," Harpootlian said Wednesday. Ken Ard has lost the trust of the public by his repeated misstatements and untruths. He should resign from office, and allow someone who believes honesty is an important aspect in every day life to occupy the Lieutenant Governor's Office."

Rep. Boyd Brown (D- Winnsboro) is sponsoring a bill to create recall legislation.

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"We have had Democratic and Republican legislators call for recall legislation in South Carolina, but it has never gone anywhere, Harpootlian adds."

"In 2009, Mark Sanford was my inspiration behind this piece of legislation, and if he wasn't bad enough, we now have Nikki Haley and Ken Ard in office," Brown says. "I guess the Republicans of South Carolina will have to elect a Casey Anthony to statewide office before we can pass strong, accountability legislation like the needed recall bill. The Republican good ol' boy system just wants to protect their own and this is just another example of that."

On Friday, Ethics Commission Executive Director Herb Hayden said the biggest fines Ard was forced to pay were for, what he said are, the lies he and his lawyer told investigators.

The Lt. Gov. paid a $48,400 fine last week and agreed to pay for the $12,500 investigation into his use of campaign funds for vacations, clothes and electronics.

Harpootlian and the Democrats have launched a website calling on Ard to quit. The site, called, lists what they call Ard's lies, and a petition for him to step down.

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?

What about calls for him to step down as Lt. Gov.? Vote in our poll and leave a comment and tell us what you think.