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      Lt Gov Ard pays $48,000 ethics fine

      South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard wrote a $48,400 personal check to the State Ethics Commission Thursday morning to resolve charges levied against him.

      Following an investigation, the Ethics Commission concluded that Ard, who was elected into office in November 2010, used funds from his campaign account for personal use and other unauthorized expenses.

      State ethics investigators alleged that Ard violated ethics laws 106 times by spending money for things unrelated to his campaign. The potential fine was more than $200,000.

      Campaign finance reports showed Ard's spending on meals, a family vacation to Washington, computer equipment and a gown for his wife.

      Thursday, the Lt. Governor signed a consent order to reimburse his campaign $12,121.35 and to pay the State Ethics Commission $48,400 in fines and $12,500 in administrative costs related to the investigation.

      Ard said he all along promised to take responsibility and planned to continue working as lieutenant governor.

      In a press release, Ard stated that he has "consistently strived to be a good steward of every dollar entrusted to me during my time in public service. I look forward to moving past this and continuing my work for the people of South Carolina."

      Ard was a two-term Florence County councilman before he was elected Lt. Governor.

      The Associated Press contributed to this report.