Lt. Gov. Resigns After Spending Campaign Cash on Tech Toys

by InvestorPlace Staff | March 9, 2012 5:22 pm

[1]When it comes to scandals, misusing funds is nothing new unfortunately. One South Carolina politician, however, found a new use for his ill-gotten gains: buying the latest technology.

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Ken Ard announced his resignation today[2], in the wake of a criminal investigation into how he spent campaign funds and after an ethics committee fined him $72,000 for how he spent those funds.

According to reports, Ard improperly used campaign money[3] to buy a Sony (NYSE:SNE[4]) PlayStation 3, two of Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL[5]) iPads, a flat-screen TV, and to pay for wife’s cell phone bill, among other things. He allegedly spent $3,000 at Best Buy (NYSE:BBY[6]) on the Playstation, iPads, and TV, and over $12,000 overall in improper purchases.

Ard’s resignation comes on the heels of several other recent ethics violations by South Carolina officials. Among the most notable was former Gov. Mark Sanford, who also admitted to violating campaign spending laws and was censured by state legislators after trying to cover up an affair with an Argentinian woman by claiming he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. Current South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley replaced Sanford in Jan. 2011.

— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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