Ken Ard’s Secret Consulting Gig
As if he didn’t already have enough problems to deal with, S.C. Lt. Gov. Ken Ard may now have a “Nikki Haley problem” on his hands. Specifically, Ard is being accused of failing to disclose a business relationship with a Kentucky-based investment firm.
Since November, Ard has reportedly been employed by Louisville, Kentucky-based investment firm Hilliard-Lyons as a “financial consultant,” although we’re told that Ard’s real job with the firm is using his connections to “bring in business.”
Ard has no prior investment experience. It’s not clear how much he is being paid for his work with the company – which has offices located in Florence, S.C.
Representatives for Ard – and the company – were not immediately available for comment.
Ard did not report any income from Hilliard-Lyons on his most recent statements of economic interest, although it’s unclear whether the law requires him to do so. After all, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley repeatedly failed to report more than $40,000 in income she received from Wilbur Smith Associates – an engineering firm with business before the state.
Haley has never publicly said what she did for Wilbur Smith, but numerous sources have accused her of illegally lobbying on behalf of the company. In fact, she’s been accused of leaking sensitive information on one of Wilbur Smith’s rivals to the office of former Gov. Mark Sanford.
Earlier this week, S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson referred Ard’s ongoing ethics case to the statewide grand jury – a sign that the Florence “Republican in Name Only” could be on the verge of being indicted.
Ard was busted in January by The (Columbia, S.C.) Free Times spending more than $20,000 on an array of dubious expenses – including expensive meals, clothing, lavish hotel rooms, computer equipment and a family vacation. An SEC report released earlier this month showed that Ard’s illegal use of campaign funds for personal purposes was much more flagrant than originally suspected.
The report also revealed that Ard repeatedly provided false information to investigators – fabricating an official “economic development” pretense for a family vacation to Washington, D.C. and concocting a story about buying his wife an inaugural gown.