After several months of investigation, grand jury testimony and political speculation, the saga of embattled S.C. Lt. Gov. Ken Ard is finally drawing to a close, multiple sources familiar with the case tell FITS.
How’s it going to end?
Not well for Ard …
The “Republican in Name Only” from Pamplico, S.C. – who was busted last January using campaign funds for personal use – is staring down the business end of some serious consequences as a result of various campaign finance irregularities (and the lies he allegedly told to cover those irregularities up). In fact, depending on Ard’s response to the charges against him – we’re told he could be facing jail time.
“He is losing his office,” a source in S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s office tells FITS (Haley and Ard are represented by the same Columbia, S.C. attorneys, Kevin Hall and Butch Bowers). “Whether he does time is up to him.”
Complicating matters, our source says that there is intense disagreement among Ard’s lawyers over how to best handle his imminent indictment – which the lieutenant governor has reportedly been told to expect within the next two weeks.
Hall and Ard’s criminal attorney, Johnny Gasser, want him to fight the charges, our source says. Meanwhile Bowers is urging Ard to cut a deal.
What should we expect?
“Right now? A fight,” our source says.
S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson referred Ard’s case to the grand jury last July after an ethics report revealed that he spent tens of thousands of dollars in campaign cash on personal expenses – including football tickets, iPods, a Playstation, a flat-screen TV and women’s clothing – and then lied about those expenses on his state ethics forms.
Ard has already been assessed more than $60,000 worth of ethics fines.
According to the ethics report, Ard’s illegal use of campaign funds for personal purposes was much more flagrant than originally suspected. Also, the report 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 Tammy an inaugural gown as an excuse for some of the personal clothing expenses.
Ard has acknowledged using campaing funds for personal expense. In fact he did so during his initial interview with Corey Hutchins of The (Columbia, S.C.) Free Times – the reporter who broke open this scandal.
“I’ve got a vast amount of my personal wealth tied up in this campaign and I’m just trying to recoup as much of that as I possibly can,” Ard told Hutchins.
After The Free Times ran its story, Ard backed off of his statement. In fact, he later told the Associated Press that he had “no idea” where Hutchins got this quote. Days later, Hutchins released an audiotape of his interview with Ard that confirmed the accuracy of the statement.
Ard isn’t the only South Carolina “Republican” battling campaign finance issues. Newly elected S.C. Ways and Means Chairman Brian White (RINO-Anderson) was busted last year using campaign cash on personal expenses – although unlike Ard any investigation into his activities would have to originate in the S.C. House. Meanwhile S.C. Sen. Jake Knotts (RINO-Lexington) recently received a slap on the wrist from his buddies in the “Republican-controlled” South Carolina Senate for similar violations.
Legislation has been introduced that would end the practice of state lawmakers’ overseeing their own ethics investigations – which we strongly support.
Wilson has been bitterly criticized by Democrats for dragging his feet on the Ard investigation. Of course we’re told that he has also been slammed by Ard’s lawyers – who feel as though he is making an example of the lieutenant governor to advance his own political ambitions.
As we’ve noted previously, we’ve been displeased with the length of time that the grand jury has taken on this case – although to be fair this investigation has taken a few unexpected turns.
Having said that, we will withhold judgment on Wilson’s handling of the case until we see its outcome.
This must make Brant Branham’s asshole pucker tight as hell.
What Mark Sanford did was a MUCH more Severe violation of trust than spending money in a way the Governemnt tells you not to….and he skated…
Ard should hire some Liberal reporters (like the SC Policy Council did for Sanford) and dig up Dirt on the people wanting to prosecute Ard….
I’d even love to see Ard put a Private Dick on FITS’ home, just to see what we can see…
We might see FITS backing up, scared of the same pen that he uses to beat others with…
…spent tens of thousands of dollars in campaign cash on personal expenses – including football tickets, iPods, a Playstation, a flat-screen TV and women’s clothing.
If this big-shot can cheat and steal, I’d love to do the same with MY federal and state tax return.
I’d also like a flat-screen TV.
Then maybe a pool for my back yard.
Slam this guy, Mr. Wilson.
Do your job.
Lt Gov.Glenn McConnell?
If not him whom?
Probably would take a little finagling but I would like to see the Gravy Train Express roll in and elevate the Honorable Senior Senator FatBack Knotts to the Office of Lt. Governor.
Hell, Hollywood probably would do one of them reality TV Series:
Gypsy Queen vs. Cockroach Godzilla
Da Bitch vs. De Bastard
Twins: Reunited After Being Separated at Birth
McConnell says no thank you to Lt Gov. and the R’s will send up Senator Courson to Lt. Gov. leaving his spot available for trikki Nikki’s boy Natey Ballentine. He has his sights on Gov., President and then King of the World….abstaining from port votes and writing important football bills along the way! Two Nutjobs “nikki and nate”.
Pics of his hot wife please, especially now if he’s doing jail time. She’ll probably not want to wait it out.
Every day I am so glad that our fair state did not elect a Democrat with morals and leadership to be our Gov. And we are so glad we didn’t get a Democrat for Lt. Gov. How would our state have handled 4 years of leadership instead of 4 years of corruption and selling our state to Georgia. The chickens are coming home to roost.
Most of the people who voted for Ard
Did not know who he was
Or anything about him
He had an “R” by his name
Government in a one part state!
Ashley Cooper was a much better candidate than Ard to begin with, and garnered about the same amount of votes as Sheheen did. Thank goodness those straight ticket voters showed up to keep the steering wheel locked hard right.
My unsolicited advice to Ken Ard: “Cut a deal, dumbass.”
We have read these headlines before back in September and nothing happened. If Ken Ard cuts a deal how will that look for Wilson and why in the heck does Ken Ard think he can beat this????????????????????He needs to cut a deal!
If he had loaned his campaign more money than he improperly spent, couldn’t he have avoided the entire mess by simply repaying the loan before spending what would have then again constituted personal funds? Candidates can contribute money to their campaigns (which they can’t get back) or they can lend it. My understanding is that he reported loans, not contributions. So – why not just pay himself back?
That is exactly the problem.. He and his staff didn’t report it as a loan, which was stupid, and showed their inexperience. Ken tried to go back like Doc Brown and return to the past in an alternate space/time continuum reality for his money, which we all know from Back to the Future II, is impossible.
If he didn’t lie about the screw up to investigators, he’d have a slap on the wrist – and his job. Like most of those who go down, he’s in trouble for lying more than the actual error – but hey, they’re politicians, right?
Everything Robert Cahaly touches turns to shit but, as he has so many times before, he will likely slither away unharmed and leave the wreckage for others to deal with, just like the liar and coward he is.
Ard should be a good republican and off himself like Sponseller to save the taxpayers money keeping him in prison.
I hope Mr. Ard is ultimately cleared of these allegations but if he does get a deal I hope he spills the beans on all of the corruption that surrounds South Carolina politics at the State Capitol and throughout the state.
Ard ain’t the brightest bulb
I doubt if he knows anything to spill!
Ard’s headed to jail, Haley is possibly headed to prison… who’s going to run the state? Oh yeah, the legislature, business as usual.
Hopefully Butch Bowers will get both of his clients time.
Hey Folks, did your article just say of Ard: “then lied… on his state ethics forms”? THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HALEY DID WHEN SHE FILLED OUT STATE ETHICS FORMS SAYING SHE WORKED FOR LEXINGTOM MEDICAL FOUNDATION!!!and not the Hospital. A bold print lie she committed to in writing 3x (just ask John Rainey).
Maybe the Ard case gives Hall and Bowers a literal “TRIAL RUN” on how to defend the indefensible:LYING(ironically)on a SC State ETHICS form!
He pays a fine. That’s it. Sanford and Haley have set the bar…..low.
I agree. He’ll pay some money and everything and everybody will just roll on as is where is. End of story.
I went back and looked at his disclosures.. He reported a personal loan to his campaign of $200,000.00 on 10/2/09. If he had simply recorded the troublesome expenditures as loan repayments, I think he would have been fine. Why he didn’t do that is beyond me.
Exactly… complete idiocy.
How soon until it is Governor “Beauregard of the Battery” McConnell?
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