By JEFFREY COLLINSAssociated Press
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina senators have started hearing evidence as they determine whether Sen. Robert Ford violated state ethics laws.
The Charleston Democrat is accused of using campaign donations for personal expenses and failing to report numerous expenses, donations and personal loans.
A lawyer for the Senate Ethics Committee detailed several dozen times where checks made to Ford's campaign ended up in his personal accounts.
The hearing took an odd turn when the lawyer also included documents showing a debit card linked to Ford's campaign account was used to buy items at two adult stores.
Ford says they were gifts for people who helped with his campaigns. He accused committee chairman Luke Rankin of trying to make him look like a crook.
The hearing is expected to last until Friday.Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.