S.C. Dems find more dirt on Ard 

Chairman Harpootlian says ethics investigation moving too slowly

State Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian says he has even more dirt on Lt. Gov. Ken Ard, who has been under investigation by the attorney general since he was charged with using campaign money for personal purposes in March.

In a conference call Friday morning, Harpootlian would not say what specific discrepancies had been found, but he said the party still had "a couple of 20-year-old kids" combing through Ard's campaign finance records.

Ard's woes began March 17, when he was charged with 92 ethics violations that included spending campaign contributions for women's clothing, his wife's cell phone bill, travel to the SEC football championship, and a PlayStation. Wednesday, Corey Hutchins of the Free Times in Columbia reported that Harpootlian and Co. had dug up yet another discrepancy: Ard had reported a $2,000 financial donation from a woman who says she in fact donated $2,000 as an in-kind contribution (that is, she donated goods or services instead of money).

Ard agreed to pay a $50,000 ethics fine, the second-largest in state history. But Harpootlian is growing impatient with Attorney General Alan Wilson's ongoing review of Ard's records.

"I am continuing to be perturbed at the lack of action by our Republican government to discipline, investigate, and perhaps even prosecute Lt. Gov. Ard," Harpootlian said.

"If the highest officials in the state aren't held to the standard, then who should be? The poor, underprivileged kid who sells a rock of crack?"


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