SC senator accused of multiple ethics violations

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Senate Ethics Committee has found probable cause that Sen. Robert Ford committed multiple ethics violations.

The seven accusations listed on Wednesday's complaint include allegations that Ford used campaign donations for personal expenses, misrepresented expenses as campaign-related, and failed to report numerous expenses and donations. The allegations cover filings between July 2009 and this month. He has 15 days to respond to the panel.

Ford was on the Senate floor and did not respond to text messages from The Associated Press or a hand-delivered note seeking an interview outside the chamber.

Senate Democratic spokesman Phil Bailey says Ford has no comment.

The Charleston Democrat has served in the Senate since 1993.

If a majority finds he violated ethics law, options include a public reprimand and a $2,000 fine per violation.

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