SC Attorney General to review Ard case - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

SC Attorney General to review Ard case

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By Jack Kuenzie - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - There's more heat On Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard. A public corruption task force in the Attorney General's Office is reviewing ethics violations and the A-G says he's personally looking into the case.

Attorney General Alan Wilson says he's going to be thorough in the probe his office is now conducting. He says that doesn't mean the case of Ken Ard's campaign money will be dragged out indefinitely.

Still no word from the Lieutenant Governor or his surrogates, except for the searing heat it was one of those photo op's that most politicians would have a hard time resisting.

Governor Nikki Haley and even the state's adjutant general were there to praise South Carolina-based Blue Ridge Cabins for showcasing one of its log homes in an upcoming episode of the "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" TV show.

Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard was also scheduled to appear, but did not.

A Republican Party operative says Ard had a scheduling conflict. That problem helped Ard maintain the low profile he's had for months as criticism has mounted over his use of campaign funds.

Last week, a report from the state ethics commission outlined its investigation into Ard's activities and his agreement to pay more than 73 thousand dollars in fines, fees and reimbursements for 107 counts of violating campaign finance rules.

Also at the log home event was state Attorney General Alan Wilson, whose office is reviewing the Ard ethics case for possible criminal violations.

"I have appointed within our office internally a public corruption task force comprised of three career prosecutors already within our employee, as well as a former FBI agent and a retired SLED Agent. And they are reviewing the case independent of me, apart from me. And I'm reviewing it myself and we're meeting every several days to discuss if we're reaching the same conclusions," said Wilson. He added that his office will not "sit on" the Ard case.

He says SLED would conduct any criminal probe. But he did not rule out use of the state grand jury, which is empowered to investigate public corruption.

Wilson says its wide open as to what could happen so they are reviewing to see what the best course of action is.

In addition, Ard has four days to file his latest campaign finance report that was due on Sunday or he will face more fines.

    

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