Holy cow. This is not how it’s supposed to happen. This is not how it’s supposed to go down. Seriously, didn’t Robert Ford read the How to Survive a Scandal Handbook — the one penned by William Jefferson Clinton so many years ago? Apparently not.

The long-time Lowcountry state senator has resigned today, less than 24 hours after a disastrous ethics hearing in which allegations were made that Ford had used campaign funds to purchase goods from two sex stores.

Corey Hutchins of the Free Times in Columbia reports:

In a phone call around 11:30 a.m., the longtime Lowcountry Democrat told Free Times he’d talk about why he resigned, “after I check out of the hospital, man.” He had earlier checked in for chest pains, his attorney said.

Yesterday a Senate Ethics Committee lawyer accused him of using campaign funds to pay for things like male enhancement drugs and purchases at adult superstores. Ford’s attorney, William Runyan, said those were campaign related gifts to people who worked on projects Ford was involved in. Ford is also accused of mishandling campaign funds in other ways.

Runyan has been Ford’s attorney for more than 35 years and repped him on previous ethics-related cases that have gone all the way to the state Supreme Court.

Asked earlier today what it’s like being Ford’s attorney, Runyan paraphrased a scene from a play called The Birdcage.

“It’s like riding a psychotic horse through a burning barn,” he said.

Hmm. It would seem like that ride just came to an end.