SC

Ken Ard Resigning (UPDATED)

SOUTH CAROLINA LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR STEPPING DOWN AMID CRIMINAL PROBE As reported exclusively by FITS earlier this week, S.C. Lt. Gov. Ken Ard (RINO-Pamplico) will resign his office on Friday – the culmination of a months-long grand jury investigation into major campaign finance irregularities and (more importantly) the lies Ard told…

SOUTH CAROLINA LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR STEPPING DOWN AMID CRIMINAL PROBE

As reported exclusively by FITS earlier this week, S.C. Lt. Gov. Ken Ard (RINO-Pamplico) will resign his office on Friday – the culmination of a months-long grand jury investigation into major campaign finance irregularities and (more importantly) the lies Ard told in an attempt to cover them up.

Multiple sources – including sources inside the embattled Lieutenant Governor’s office – have confirmed to FITS that Ard will step down as part of a plea deal reached with S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson.

Ard will reportedly announce his resignation at 10:00 a.m. Friday and plead guilty to the as -yet-unspecified charges against him in open court at 1:00 p.m.

Details regarding the plea itself were not immediately available, and Wilson’s office did not respond to our request for comment.

Ard becomes the third Republican in the last eight years to surrender his position in the wake of a criminal investigation – following former S.C. Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Sharpe (cockfighting – 2004) and former State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel (cocaine – 2007). Also, former S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford nearly lost his job two years ago after his admission of infidelity prompted an investigation into improper travel expenses – and current Gov. Nikki Haley is facing a major ethics lawsuit as well as a possible federal investigation into hervarious pre-gubernatorial activities.

Ard saga roiling S.C. State House

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.

The initial story detailing Ard’s issues was broken by reporter Corey Hutchins of The (Columbia, S.C.) Free Times last January – less than three weeks after Ard had taken his oath of office.

Ard was hit with over 100 violations and assessed more than $60,000 worth of ethics fines, although an accompanying report published by the S.C. State Ethics Commission (SCSEC) revealed a damning pattern of deception associated with the original allegations.

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.

In addition to these allegations Ard has also been accused of running a “cash for contributions” scam in which money was given to donors in exchange for them agreeing to cut a check to his campaign.

So … what happens next?

Well, S.C. Senate President Glenn McConnell is in line to replace Ard – or so the State Constitution suggests – but there are a host of palace intrigues yet to be sorted out. McConnell may resign his post prior to Ard stepping down in an effort ot avoid assuming the politically impotent lieutenant governor’s office – or he may take the job.

The Senate President’s office did not respond to several calls seeking comment.

To read all about the latest machinations associated with the Ard succession drama, click here.

***

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61 comments

keeping 'em honest March 8, 2012 at 11:53 pm

Well its about damn time!

Of course, Wilson could have made a case 8 months ago just based on the stuff that Ard admitted to. But now we are gonna get the spectacle of Wilson claiming all this credit for finally doing his job against a fellow member of his party just because the momentum finally caught up to him.

Karma March 9, 2012 at 8:11 am

Mr. Wilson— I hope your happy. I know and feel like you and Haley will be next. I just know it!

Nolff March 9, 2012 at 9:30 am

It took WAY too long.

Jeffy01 March 9, 2012 at 12:09 am

Damn (almost) coastal corruption

Da Boz March 9, 2012 at 12:23 am

Touches on it, for sure. You’ll notice that Brant Branham never gets mentioned in these stories these days, through. And that’s OK. Sic has his reasons, and they’re probably good and valid ones. No, I’m not kissing ass by saying that. Just recognizing there some deep game here. Deep as in Deep Throat. ‘Nuff said.

Howard March 9, 2012 at 6:41 am

Linda Lovelace would have been proud of the Shout Out.

same ol' same ol' March 9, 2012 at 9:10 am

Wonder how long it’ll be before all that shit starts hitting the air mover?

Turn of the Screw March 9, 2012 at 12:49 am

So … what happens next?

Well, S.C. Senate President Glenn McConnell is in line to replace Ard – or so the State Constitution suggests – but there are a host of palace intrigues yet to be sorted out. McConnell may resign his post prior to Ard stepping down in an effort to avoid assuming the politically impotent lieutenant governor’s office – or he may take the job.

Well, well, well…

Now what have we got here?

South Carolina’s political HMFIC facing two or three doors.

One of them is the inside door of his own office, and he doesn’t want to leave.

But that office is the President Pro Tem’s office. The corner office on the first floor of the Gressette Building, which he and his Judiciary Committee occupy almost completely.

If McConnell resigns as President Pro Tem, I suppose he’ll HAVE TO MOVE to make room for the NEW President Pro Tem, which his fellow senators will choose with no regard for his yellow-ass backside whatsoever.

Hugh Leatherman sounds good. Yes, Hugh. With the fancy hair. Looks senatorial.

Or, as mentioned elsewhere in this blog, Larry Martin. Larry’s cool. Smiles lots.

John Courson also mentioned. Not bad, a little heavy, but, okay, yeah.

All are RELATIVELY normal human beings, SORT OF well rounded. They have families, play golf, go to church, laugh, have pets, don’t live with Momma.

If Glenn-boy gets demoted from President, he’ll have to move to some abode upstairs and share a two-man office with someone who doesn’t give a shit for his Confederate flags, pistols, toy soldiers, Hunley photographs, or Rebel music.

Someone like Robert Ford, Ralph Anderson, Clementa Pinckney, or John Matthews, who’d make him share the coffee machine, secretary, and common area, who won’t take no white trash shit.

Here’s to you Glenn.

ceilidh10 March 9, 2012 at 9:47 am

he might really like sharing space with another man

O. Henry March 9, 2012 at 1:23 am

“I’m undecided. My focus is not what’s good for me but the people I represent in Charleston.”
— Glenn McConnell, The Post and Courier

**********************

“The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life

The (Charleston) Post and Courier
Friday, March 9, 2012

HICKS COLUMN: Putting McConnell on sidelines
By Brian Hicks

This may be the least of his problems, but Ken Ard need not expect a Christmas present from Glenn McConnell this year.

You see, our knucklehead lieutenant governor is about to lose his office. And when that happens, McConnell — the Senate president pro tempore — may have to take his place.

Which means McConnell would go from the most powerful man in state government to the least powerful.

So thanks, Ken.

Ard’s problem began when he admitted using campaign money to buy, well, Christmas presents. A grand jury has had the case since last year because, as everyone but Ard knows, using campaign cash to buy your kid a PlayStation is illegal. The Senate has been caught up in a high-stakes parlor game ever since: Will McConnell turn down the promotion/demotion or take over as the Senate babysitter?

The fact that McConnell is in this position just proves there is a serious flaw in the system.

CHECK THE INSTRUCTIONS

McConnell has been here before.

When the Legislature considered impeaching Gov. Mark Sanford, McConnell would have been forced into this same situation if then-Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer had to move into the governor’s office. That set up the current talking points about the pro tem succeeding the lieutenant governor. Trouble is, that may not be the case.

The state constitution is ambiguous. It says: “The Senate shall as soon as practicable after the convening of the General Assembly choose a President Pro Tempore to act in the absence of the Lieutenant Governor. A member of the Senate acting as Lieutenant Governor shall thereupon vacate his seat and another person shall be elected in his stead.”

The constitution doesn’t specifically say the pro tem has to take the spot, but no one bothered to check until recently.

“When all else fails,” Sen. Larry Grooms says, “read the directions.”

32 YEARS OF SENIORITY

Some senators believe the constitution means exactly that the pro tem has to take the job.

But why would our forefathers do something this boneheaded? Because back then the pro tem job was akin to the House Speaker pro tem’s job — that is, not all that.

Over the years, the Senate has conferred powerful appointment powers to the pro tem, building it into a substantial job. Basically, McConnell is the leader of the Senate, much as the Speaker is in the House. The lieutenant governor — well, he gets to bang the gavel and wear a purple robe.

Now this comes down to a tough decision on whether to give up 32 years of seniority.

“I’m undecided,” McConnell says. “My focus is not what’s good for me but the people I represent in Charleston.”

No matter what happens, it’s time to amend the constitution to make sure promotions aren’t actually demotions.

The good news is that if McConnell takes the lite guv job, he could become governor if Nikki Haley keeps messing up.

It’s not pro tem, but governor is still a pretty good gig.

mohanna March 9, 2012 at 2:30 am

Ard’s corruption is a true story about SC politics, but it shouldn’t be.

bob jones March 11, 2012 at 7:54 pm

The South Carolina primary was equally scandalous, Gingrich wins a landslide victory despite the fact he had little organization in the state and had to cancel speaking engagements because nobody was showing up, he had a complete lack of support. Pretty strange lack of enthusiasm for an overwhelming winner.Just politics as usual in the USA, at least the State’s Gop Party chairman didn’t resign in disgrace immediately after the election, which did happen in several other states this year already.

BigT March 9, 2012 at 5:31 am

Spending money – Ard raised or his – is nowhere near CORRUPTION…

“Ethics” laws are put in place to give liberals a bone to replace their un-electable status (by the voters) on a sattewide basis…

If Ard would pull a “Sanford” and hire a covey of Liberal newspaper reporters (leftwing activists) to “investigate” the people judging him…he’d beable to stay in office…like Sanford…

Robert March 9, 2012 at 6:38 am

You are really a strange person…..good grief. It’s not that your views are conservative, they aren’t. Your views are just NUTS!!!!!

Da Boz March 9, 2012 at 6:59 am

Ethics? We don’t need no stinkin’ ethics!

Right Big T?

You keep them damn libarultarians straight now, son. But first, better look in the mirror and straighten up that pointy sheet-hood on top of your pointy little peckerwood head. It’s starting to get limper than your pathetic little pecker would if your pecker would peck wood. A little starch should do it. Then call Rush and see won’t he send you that stash of bootleg Viagra he’s been holding for you. Probably forgot you were holding his oxys for him up here, him being all drug-addled (and deefer than a doorknob when the solar flares interfere with his coke-leer implant) and all. Just send ’em on to to him with a little love note, and quicker than you can say “Joe McCarthy died for our sins”, y’all will get things straight between you.

OOPS. That last line probably turned you on somethin’ fierce and made you go and do that sinful O-Nanny seed-spillin’ thing all in your fresh-washed white sheet-robe. Now you can’t, in all honesty, take the purity pledge when you run for Dog-killer. Sorry about that. Dickhead.

hhuuhh?? March 9, 2012 at 9:36 am

T’s like Brad Warthen.
He doesn’t believe politicians are corrupted by money given to them in the form of campaign contributions…not even when they are converted for personal gain and use. In violation of the law.
That second part, even Warthen may think something is amiss at that point.
T: it’s amazing the moral acrobatics you perform to rationalize your bad judgement in voting choices.

ceilidh10 March 9, 2012 at 10:00 am

Big T, shut up for a change. You are a fucking moron. Go spend your time getting surgery to repair the rectal prolapse of your big fat mouth.

JustCallMeAva March 9, 2012 at 10:15 am

Oh please, there’s a reason The State got rid of Warthen–he’s a dumbass yet he thinks he’s smarter than anyone else. Why anyone bothers following anything he says is beyond me. He wouldn’t know a story if it hit upside the hide with a 2X4.

Whatever March 9, 2012 at 5:47 am

So if this happens, you mean to tell me, as long as they have expected it, the Senators have no idea what to do. According to the constitutuon, McConnell takes the job. He needs to put on his big boy panties and man up. What a circus this is turning in to. You would have thought the State would have been more prepared and go on with business as usual and not skip a beat, oh wait, this is SC, nevermind.

Penelope March 9, 2012 at 9:32 am

The S.C. Senate is not necessarily peopled by people of high intelligence. Rather, they are wily.

They realized even S.C. voters were beginning to catch on and the Feds are looking hard at them, so they couldn’t put Wilson off any longer. So, they had to do something.

Hopefully this will not go away and Queen Nimrata’s head is the next to roll.

hhuuhh?? March 9, 2012 at 9:37 am

They’ve only been thinking about it since Mark’s Argentina trip…

crackahasscrackah March 9, 2012 at 9:58 am

purty shure ol’ Glenn puts on his boy panties ever day

Really? March 9, 2012 at 6:20 am

Don’t we have a constitution in place for a reason? Already busy like fire ants trying to get around around the laws set forth in the SC State constitution. If this happens, the Senators are going to be more of a joke than the Ard scandal itself.

Penelope March 9, 2012 at 9:33 am

You don’t expect the GOTP to actually adhere to the Constitution, do you?

Perry Mason March 9, 2012 at 6:52 am

Resignation Is Not An Option. Haley will never admit she was wrong. She will proclaim persecution by The Man, because even today no one can decide whether she is white or black. A plea deal may be offered, but she will decline, proclaiming The Grand Jury doesn’t know what they are doing. At the end, media will be notified, she will be cuffed in front of cameras, with a ceremonial perp walk towards the black SUV with tinted windows. It is a shame that the First Dude and Chief of Staff will be denied the ceremonial walk of shame.

Dr. Media March 9, 2012 at 8:16 am

This is 2012, a SC Governor posted a black & white comment on Facebook. An extraordinary display of ignorance.

Penelope March 9, 2012 at 9:34 am

You paint a lovely scenario. We can dream, can’t we?

Dr. Sheldon Cooper March 9, 2012 at 6:59 am

Perhaps Ms. Haley believes Rock Star Catherine Templeton will save her from an indictment. Too bad she didn’t pick someone with better intelligence, more experience, and a work ethic.

Howard March 9, 2012 at 7:02 am

I hear SCDHEC only has black & white ones. She is gonna be pissed.

LLR Employees March 9, 2012 at 7:05 am

Hell, PPT cannot even save herself from herself. See ya, DHEC.

Mills Building March 9, 2012 at 7:43 am

@Howard – Perhaps under PTT’s “leadership” Fiesta colors will return to DHEC’s condom inventory?

Howard March 9, 2012 at 7:57 am

Well, yes Mills. In my experience with PTT in the park, she always lunged towards the bright colors.

Dr. House March 9, 2012 at 8:05 am

Templeton is anything but cautious. Deception, and willful disregard for the standard makes her an excellent companion for Nikki.

Todd March 9, 2012 at 7:25 am

Good riddance

Cancerman March 9, 2012 at 7:36 am

Bitch Haley wanted Ard out the way, he has done nothing compared to what she is being allowed to get away with. Hopefully the FEDS will act since our lawmakers refuse to.

Perry Mason March 9, 2012 at 8:01 am

Indeed, the current folk of lawmakers are useless. The Feds are known for patience, wire taps, surveillance, and informants. Blago is a good example.

ceilidh10 March 9, 2012 at 10:03 am

We need another Sting Operation. Call it Operation Remove The Assholes. Just like they did to the blacks in the 90s. Instead it will be panty boy Bible Thumpers in the State House.

someone who knows March 9, 2012 at 8:01 am

I hear Haley is on the brink of Appointing Michael to the office .

Dr. Sheldon Cooper March 9, 2012 at 8:06 am

I believe she has already done so, several times.

Dr. Politicians March 9, 2012 at 8:11 am

But, if I may, it is not clear if Haley may try to pull a Clinton and have the First Cuckhold administer a huge program, such as health care. Or, she is going to pull a Kennedy and appoint him to a real office, such as Attorney General. Either way, more fodder for political comment.

Penelope March 9, 2012 at 9:36 am

If she did appoint him, no worry. He doesn’t seem to last long in any job she obtains for him.

Dr. Rajesh Koothrappali March 9, 2012 at 8:18 am

Whatever happened to the big trip to India looking for jobs?

semi March 9, 2012 at 9:11 am

She is waiting for the first Boeing jet off of the Charleston assembly line, it was sold to Air India. I wonder who the first passenger(s) will be when it is delivered to New Delhi?

STFU March 9, 2012 at 8:54 am

Half man, half man, half man, the Imp wins the Game of Throwing Up.

shifty henry March 9, 2012 at 9:06 am

O Henry: excellent post

Perry Mason: “have patience, my child” – unknown author

Dr. Rajesh: Haley’s friends/supporters/family in India are keeping Haley and her friends/supporters/family in SC in jobs by sending their money here.

Petey March 9, 2012 at 9:18 am

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE HOUSE AGENDA
Friday, March 9, 2012

Lt. Governor Ken Ard will resign at 11:00.

President pro tem Gwendolyn McConnell will resign as President pro tem at 11:01.

The Senate will vote John “I am a war hero” Courson President pro tem at 11:05.

President pro tem John “I am a war hero” Courson will be appointed Lt. Governor at 11:10.

The Senate will vote Sen. Gwendolyn McConnell President pro tem at 11:12.

That is all.

ceilidh10 March 9, 2012 at 9:45 am

Will Gwen be there in full Confederate drag ??

Choppers March 9, 2012 at 9:33 am

Is Ard going to get the rest of his salary and/or benefits????

ceilidh10 March 9, 2012 at 9:44 am

Yes…health benefits to include a new tung to replace the one he uses to lie, new balls to replace the ones crushed by the AG, a new asshole to replace the one cut by the AG, and a spine to replace the absence of his own.

We can only hope.

Way to go South Carolina. Keep voting for Asshole Republicans !
It’s a Great Day in South Carolina !

hhuuhh?? March 9, 2012 at 9:53 am

Is he going to serve even the smallest amount of prison time?

ceilidh10 March 9, 2012 at 9:38 am

This story is getting stale. Corruption is stale news in Columbia. It’s now a way of life in SC. I guess the boys from Jersey and New Yawk will down here next asking for a piece of the casino pie. No wait, Nikki wants it all for herself and Mikey, the First Dude. Can’t you just see him at the strip joints at the SC Casino, his tung hanging out slobbering over the young things, his face puffed from drinking all night, telling dirty jokes, being a real Columbia Cowboy. You go Dude !

Pass a casino bill !

JustCallMeAva March 9, 2012 at 10:18 am

And no matter what the GOP does in this state, the dimwits will keep voting for them and supporting them just like a beaten wife will swear her husband loves her. This is the result of a poor education system in this state: keep ’em ignorant and they’ll keep voting Republican.

ceilidh10 March 9, 2012 at 9:51 am

Sung to the famous bittersweet tune we all know…

Don’t cry for me Carolina !
The truth is I never liked you.
I had to use you, I had to abuse you.
I had no option.
We had to win………

jenny March 9, 2012 at 10:11 am

What about the current staff in the Lt. Gov. Office…what happens to them?

Petey March 9, 2012 at 10:18 am

They’ll now Tweet and update Facebook for John Courson.

lexington native March 9, 2012 at 10:16 am

Wonder if the lights will be on TODAY at Exotica?

Is this SHIITE for real March 9, 2012 at 10:18 am

Do they allow turbans in prison? Could be an issue.

JustCallMeAva March 9, 2012 at 10:17 am

FYI–Ard and his family just moved into a new house in FloTown. His wife has been flashing wallpaper and fabric samples at the salon she owns for weeks now. Much better than redecorating a jail cell isn’t it?

Crooner March 9, 2012 at 11:13 am

The real question is:

How likely is the next Lt. Governor to become the next Governor? Without holding an election.

Pinko March 10, 2012 at 2:27 am

I hope a good long look is taken at Ard’s “Pee Dee Republicans” club. Might have a few more indictments before it’s over, like that chick who used to be his campaign manager, but now says she was just a scheduler. Uh huh. I hope she didn’t lie like that to the grand jury or she’ll be pleading too.

Guido "3 fingers" Sarducci March 11, 2012 at 8:35 am

Hang the bastard!

Comments are closed.