Lt. Gov. Ken Ard, facing a state grand jury investigation into his admitted ethics violations, showed up for work Tuesday to say he will not resign quieting whispers of back-door maneuvering to succeed the embattled Florence Republican as the states second-highest-ranking elected official.
I have no interest in resigning, Ard said. We are cooperating fully with the AGs (attorney generals) office to bring this thing to a conclusion. Thats all I want to say now out of respect to those involved. Theres a lot of human emotion, sure there is. And Ive got a family. But I dont want to go there.
Im not afraid. Im not intimidated, he added. I just mean what I said. Im not going to resign.
It was Ards first public comment since the State Ethics Commission fined him $48,400 and required him to reimburse his campaign $12,121.35 for using campaign contributions to buy personal items, including a PlayStation 3, two iPads and a cell phone plan for his wife.
Last week, state Attorney General Alan Wilson referred Ards ethics violations to the state grand jury for possible criminal prosecution prompting a discussion among the states most influential lawmakers of what to do should Ard resign.