Cleary apologizes for 'sloppy bookkeeping' of Senate account

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Retiring state Republican 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 had already agreed to the findings of an attorney and accountant hired by the committee. It says 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 were often illegible or insufficient.

Cleary, a fulltime dentist, says he delegated the filing of quarterly online reports amid his busy schedule, but says it was his responsibility.

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