Federal authorities say they are investigating several hundred thousand dollars that's missing from a South Carolina lobbying group. Meanwhile, local police are searching for the group's chief executive, who hasn't been seen for more than a week.
The South Carolina Hospitality Association lobbies for the state's $14 billion tourism industry. Michael Williams, special agent in charge at the U.S. Secret Service, told The Associated Press on Monday that agents have been looking into the group's finances for several months.
The association's president and CEO, Tom Sponseller, was last seen Feb. 18 at his office in Columbia.
Williams says Sponseller is not a target of his agency's investigation. A consultant for the association says its interim director has hired an accounting firm to do an audit.
Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP