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SC Lieutenant Gov Under Investigation But 'No Plans To Resign'

South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard. align=left

South Carolina's lieutenant governor reported for duty as the state senate convened this afternoon to debate a new Congressional district. Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard told reporters on his way into the session that he has no plans to resign, despite a grand jury investigation into his campaign finances. As lieutenant governor, one of Ken Ard's main responsibilities is to preside over the South Carolina Senate. The last three weeks have seen calls for Ard's ouster and rumors that he would soon resign. On July 1, the South Carolina Ethics Commission levied a $48,000 fine against Ard for 107 ethics violations, including using campaign cash for personal shopping sprees. Among the violations are an $800 dress for Ard's wife to wear to his inauguration and $3,000 spent at Best Buy for a Sony Playstation, iPod touch, two iPads and a flat screen TV. The Republican lieutenant governor has paid the ethics fine and reimbursed his campaign for the expenditures, but his troubles are not over. On Monday, a state grand jury began investigating the case for possible criminal prosecution. Ard says he is "cooperating fully with the attorney general's office to bring this thing to a conclusion."