Retiring Republican state Sen. Ray Cleary of Murrells Inlet is apologizing for “sloppy bookkeeping” over the last few years but says he never used campaign donations for personal expenses.
The Senate Ethics Committee went behind closed doors Monday to determine how much to fine their colleague.
Cleary already had agreed to the findings of an attorney and accountant hired by the committee. Those findings say Cleary violated six categories of ethics law, including not reporting contributions, not correctly reimbursing his campaign for a planned trip he ultimately didn’t take, and lacking proper documentation for expenses.
Accountant Tracy Amos says receipts often were illegible or insufficient.
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Cleary, a fulltime dentist, says he delegated the filing of quarterly online reports amid his busy schedule, but says it was his responsibility.