Governor Nikki Haley’s 2nd-in command has been hit with over 100 ethics violations, and the second-largest ever fine for ethics charges in the state’s history.
And now he is leaving for good.
Ard doomed himself almost from the start. A week after his election he charged over $25,000 worth of personal expenses on his campaign’s credit card. That meant his donors were paying for his wife’s cell phone bill. Ethics investigations found that he used campaign funds for “a Playstation 3, a flat-screen TV, an iPod Touch 8G, and two 3G iPads,” during a spending spree at Best Buy.
Hutchins details the awkwardness that has surrounded Ard the during the whole legislative session, leading up to his resignation.
Around the beginning of his troubles, Ard would go from senator to senator to sit and chat. [Senate Democratic Caucus director Phil] Bailey described the scene as like when a kid knows they’ve messed up and goes around talking to everyone in hopes of finding that one person who’ll tell them that everything is going to be OK.
Ard put himself one step away from the top office in the state by playing the role of a simple country-boy innocent of big city politics.
He wasn’t so innocent after all.
Read an entire account of Ard’s political rise and fall here at the Free Times.
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