Ethics panel checking SC lieutenant gov spending

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS/AP) - South Carolina's ethics regulators have questions about campaign money spent by Lt. Gov. Ken Ard.

State Ethics Commission executive director Herb Hayden said Tuesday he is reviewing how Ard used campaign money and is planning to ask questions about expenses.

Records show Ard has spent a bit more than $1,100 on meals out of a nearly $25,000 fund since he won the Nov. 2 election.

Hayden said he'll be asking for Ard to clarify his expenses after reviewing Ard's campaign finance report. State law bars use of campaign cash for personal expenses.

Ard told The Associated Press he would cooperate but would wait for the letter from Hayden to comment further.

A weekly newspaper, The Free Times of Columbia, was first to report on questions about Ard's spending. "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 can," Ard told the Free Times.

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.