One of the most colorful characters in the South Carolina Senate, Robert Ford, resigned today while in a hospital. The news came as lawmakers in Columbia were holding a hearing into allegations he mishandled campaign funds.
In a phone call around 11:30 a.m., the longtime Lowcountry Democrat told Free Times he'd talk about why he resigned, “after I check out of the hospital, man.” He had earlier checked in for chest pains, his attorney said.
Yesterday a Senate Ethics Committee lawyer accused him of using campaign funds to pay for things like male enhancement drugs and purchases at adult superstores. Ford's attorney, William Runyan, said those were campaign related gifts to people who worked on projects Ford was involved in. Ford is also accused of mishandling campaign funds in other ways.
Runyan has been Ford's attorney for more than 35 years and repped him on previous ethics-related cases that have gone all the way to the state Supreme Court.
Asked earlier today what it's like being Ford's attorney, Runyan paraphrased a scene from a play called The Birdcage.
“It's like riding a psychotic horse through a burning barn,” he said.
Ford is known for drawing colorful headlines and for speaking his mind, at times drawing winces from his Senate colleagues. He ran for governor in 2010 on a platform of bringing video poker to South Carolina.
A Re-Imagined Christmas Carol at Trustus
Watch as five actors perform all the characters of Charles Dickens’ classic story and create a live musical score in a production that had audiences and critics raving last year. Get your tickets here!
Great Gifts for the Whole Family
Don’t miss Half Moon Outfitters’ holiday sale! Up to 30% off Prana, Patagonia, The North Face, and other great brands. Location and hours here.
Make Your Own Beer and Wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop: 736 St. Andrews Road.
Now Hiring in the Vista!
Hickory Tavern is opening mid-December and looking for bartenders, servers, hosts and kitchen staff. Apply in person: Click for details!
We Practice After Hours Too!
Midlands Orthopedics clinics are open when young athletes need us most. Locations and hours can be found here.
Surreal Innovation Salon Now Open
Columbia’s newest total care spa is now taking appointments and offering $10 off services $25 or more for first time clients. Location, hours, and more info here.
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Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season: