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Ard says he won’t quit

Jul 27, 2011 12:15:00 AM - thestate.com
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 state’s second-highest-ranking elected official.

“I have no interest in resigning,” Ard said. “We are cooperating fully with the AG’s (attorney general’s) office to bring this thing to a conclusion. That’s all I want to say now out of respect to those involved. There’s a lot of human emotion, sure there is. And I’ve got a family. But I don’t want to go there.

“I’m not afraid. I’m not intimidated,” he added. “I just mean what I said. I’m not going to resign.”

It was Ard’s 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 Ard’s ethics violations to the state grand jury for possible criminal prosecution — prompting a discussion among the state’s most influential lawmakers of what to do should Ard resign.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)