POLITICS: Richard Eckstrom accused of using campaign cash from RNC trip

Posted by ANDREW SHAIN on December 12, 2013 

From The Associated Press South Carolina's top accountant is accused of using campaign money to accompany his girlfriend to the Republican National Convention last year.

The state Ethics Commission found probable cause that Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom violated state ethics law. Documents obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday show he faces six charges of using campaign money for personal benefit.

A hearing is scheduled March 9. Messages left with Eckstrom's spokesman were not immediately returned Thursday afternoon.

The Republican reported spending $1,642 in campaign money for gasoline, food and the hotel stay during the GOP convention in Florida. Eckstrom's girlfriend was an alternate delegate.

Ethics director Herb Hayden says Eckstrom was not there in any official capacity, but because she invited him.

Possible penalties include $2,000 per offense and a public reprimand.

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