South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced Wednesday he will turn over evidence from an ethics investigation of Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard to a state grand jury.
Wilson said his office has finished its review of information from an investigation by the State Ethics Commission into the embattled lieutenant governor’s campaign violations.
Wilson had requested the information from the commission immediately after it fined Ard more than $60,000 and released a report accusing him of misleading investigators.
In a statement released Wednesday, Ard said he requested the investigation be turned over so “all the facts in this matter can be determined.” The Attorney General had urged the public to be patient with the process as recently as Tuesday.
“I have reviewed the information with a team of prosecutors in my office, and have concluded that this case is properly within the investigative jurisdiction of the state grand jury.” Wilson said in a statement, “That process will begin immediately.”
South Carolina law allows the Attorney General to petition for a matter to be considered by the state grand jury when he and the Chief of SLED determine that “normal investigative or prosecutorial procedures are not adequate.” The petition must be approved by the circuit judge assigned to the state grand jury.
Wilson stressed that state law prohibits any discussion of matters before the state grand jury.
Ard is still able to keep his post for now. However, he would be suspended from office if he is indicted by the grand jury.
Democrats are continuing to call for his resignation.