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Judge Reduces Ticket for Sanford's Straying Dog

Fine for former first lady dropped to $150 for dog at large charge.

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."

Read more about the Jenny Sanford dog case.

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.

Cold War Vet April 03, 2012 at 10:30 PM
I commend Judge Duffy, Jr. for making a public statement regarding his decision. Most local judges don't make public statements regarding their decisions. I hope the public will put this issue to rest now that Mrs. Sanford has had her day in court. No pun intended.
Karen April 04, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Good for her! That's a ridiculous fine. Guess they are running Sullivan's Island on dog fines.
Franken Harpo April 04, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Sometimes it just works out that way.
stanley seigler April 04, 2012 at 10:07 PM
"times they are a changing"...when i grew up in sville many light years ago...mrs price's two irish setters (pat and lady ran the neighborhood...as did mr sutton's lab (cougar) and golden retriever (tiger)...we kids looked forward to seeing (petting )them... called progress and guess it's for the best...anyway it's inevitable
Richard Hayes April 04, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Rich people have all the power, even to lower fines. She is a multiple offender, and they should have stuck with the more appropriate higher fine.

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