Lt. Gov.'s brother charges at WIS reporter during investigation - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Lt. Gov.'s brother charges at WIS reporter during investigation

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Samuel Ard confronts Jody Barr Samuel Ard confronts Jody Barr
SC Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard SC Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – South Carolina Lt. Gov Ken Ard's brother, Sammy, wasn't very happy when he found out that a WIS reporter was at his Florence County business on Thursday asking questions about the 2010 campaign.

The state grand jury met Tuesday and Wednesday, listening to dozens of witnesses in the criminal investigation into how Lt. Gov. Ard raised money for his 2010 bid for the office.

Sammy testified before the grand jury Wednesday. The brother owns AA Body Builders in Florence County. The business builds truck bodies in Pamplico.  Ethics filings show Sammy gave his brother's campaign a $3,500 contribution on June 28, 2009.

The grand jury also listened to testimony from AA Body Builder's office manager, Cheryl Poston-Crites. Campaign records show Poston-Crites gave Lt. Gov. Ard's campaign $3,500 on July 2, 2009.

We went to Sammy's business Thursday to find out why the grand jury called him, and what he knew of his brother's fundraising. Neither would talk about their testimony.

When questioned, Poston-Crites said, "I'm not answering your questions."

Poston-Crites then called Sammy to the business. When he arrived, Sammy confronted WIS reporter Jody Barr about his presence on the street in front of the business.

Investigators wanted to know about two contributors in particular: Cindy McAllister and her daughter, Kristen Mayer. Lt. Gov. Ard's ethics forms show both gave $3,500 a piece, but the contact information on the ethics forms doesn't check out -- more specifically, the pair lists an address at Mallard Road.

Bryan McAllister lives at that address. Bryan says neither woman has lived there in years. In fact, Bryan says he's been divorced from Cindy for at least four years.

Bryan says he's never met the lieutenant governor and never gave money to his campaign. He also doesn't know his ex-wife's connection to Lt. Gov. Ard, or that she was ever that interested in politics. He wonders how Cindy or Mayer could afford to hand the lieutenant governor $7,000 considering their financial situations.

"I don't see how, but then, you know, that's none of my business," said Bryan. "But still, I don't see how."

Ard's former campaign manager, Stephanie Rawlinson, also testified before the grand jury. Her attorney asked her not to talk with us, but Rawlinson says she only handled Lt. Gov. Ard's scheduling for a few months. She also said she never handled any of the campaign's finances.

We reached out to the lieutenant governor's office to ask questions about this report, but they have not yet responded. The attorney general's office is also not commenting on the investigation.

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved.

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