Fined South Carolina senator: ‘I made a mistake’

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A state senator who was fined nearly $5,400 for accepting donations above the legal limit says it was an unintentional mistake, and he’s moving on.

The Senate Ethics Committee ordered Sen. Kent Williams to pay a $5,390 penalty for 15 campaign contributions that exceeded the $1,000 maximum that candidates can receive from someone per election. That’s the largest penalty ever imposed by the legislative ethics panel.

The Marion Democrat also had to return $7,800 to donors and pay down $5,000 of debt from a previous campaign.

The committee quietly issued the public reprimand late last month. It accused Williams of deliberately attempting to mislead the public.

But Williams disagreed with that Tuesday, calling it a corrected oversight.

He faces no opponent next month in his bid for a third term.

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