SULLIVAN'S ISLAND — Former South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford today pleaded guilty and paid a much-reduced fine for the February incident in which her dog was found roaming the streets on Sullivan's Island.
Officers had originally issued a $1,040 fine for Sanford's second dog-at-large offense, but Municipal Court Judge Lawrence Duffy Jr. dropped it to $150 at a hearing this afternoon.
"I've been a judge since 1989, and I can't think of many $1,000 tickets I have signed," Duffy said. "But when people come before the court, I try to escalate the fine."
Previously, Duffy dropped the fine from $500 to $90, and Sanford said she found a new home for that dog, because it truly was a "runner," and would not stay in her yard.
"This dog never leaves the yard," Sanford said. "There were exceptional circumstances."
Next door, crews were filming an episode of "Army Wives," and the loud generators woke Sanford at 5 a.m. that morning, she said.
"He left our yard to get away from the big noise," Sanford said.
Following court, Sanford said she had no problem paying a fine for the roaming dog, but she said the original $1,000 amount was far too expensive.