Lt. Gov. McMaster ordered to repay $73,000 of campaign contributions

Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster has been ordered to repay $73,000 in excessive campaign contributions collected after his loss in the 2010 governor’s race.

Media outlets report the South Carolina Ethics Commission on Wednesday also fined McMaster $5,100.

McMaster’s attorney said during a hearing last September that while McMaster violated the law, he did so unintentionally.

A candidate for statewide office may accept $3,500 per donor per election cycle. But the complaint alleged McMaster received contributions above $3,500 from 51 donors.

McMaster’s attorney had contended that retiring the campaign debt constituted a separate election cycle. The commission ruled it did not and there is nothing ambiguous about the law.

The original complaint was filed almost two years ago by a Greenville resident who contributed $3,500 to a past McMaster election opponent.

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