Lt. Governor facing ethics violations By Robert Kittle Published: March 17, 2011 http://actionard.com/ South Carolina's Lieutenant Governor faces an ethics firestorm. Within 24 hours state leaders will have the documents ready detailing 92 ethics violations against Ken Ard. Thursday the ethics commission is getting together the specifics of those charges. The next step will be a closed hearing unless Ard decides to admit the charges. Lt. Governor Ken Ard is facing 69 counts of converting campaign money to personal use and 23 counts of failing to disclose spending. On his way to preside over the senate Thursday he said he would not talk about the charges other than his written statement. That statement says, 'I will work with the ethics commission to resolve any issues they might have. I will cooperate fully with the commission's staff and I look forward to answering their questions. As i've said from the beginning, if i've made any mistakes or errors, I will take full responsibility for them, correct them and move forward.'" Many of the charges are for his campaign spending after the election including travel to the SEC football championship in Atlanta $3,000 for computer equipment and $800 for women's clothing. His lawyer says the spending was for activities related to his office which is allowed under state law. For example, the $800 for women's clothing was for a dress for his wife to go to the inaugural ball spending he says is directly related to his office. The chair of the Democratic party says that's not the intent of the law. Carol Fowler, Chair of SC Democratic party, "If you can get campaign donors to buy your wife's clothes, that's about one step away from taking a bribe." Similar cases nationwide ended with fines. A former state senator in Tennessee was fined a state record $120,000 for personal use of campaign money. Christine O'Donnell is under federal investigation for her unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate from Delaware. The director of the State Ethics Commission says the potential fine Ard is facing is up to $2,000 per violation. That would be $184,000. The Ethics Commission expects to release the notice of hearing Friday which gives the specifics of the charges. Then a hearing date will be set. Ard could admit the charges before the hearing. If he goes ahead with the hearing he could either be found guilty of all or some of the charges or be found not guilty.