Ex-Sen. Ford to pay $45,000; 2nd case sent to AG

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Former Charleston Sen. Robert Ford has been fined $30,000 and ordered to send nearly $15,000 to the Children's Trust for using campaign donations for personal expenses, then trying to cover it up.

Findings presented Wednesday to the Senate Ethics Committee show Ford zeroed out his campaign account 10 days after resigning last year and used the money to pay his bills. The $14,758 the committee ordered him to send to the Children's Trust corresponds to the amount that bank records show he withdrew.

Ford didn't attend the hearing, but his attorney agreed he spent the money on personal expenses.

The order also refers the case to the attorney general's office for further investigation.

Ford resigned last year during hearings on similar allegations, ensuring his colleagues could not expel him.

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