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Sharpton gets funds, faces probe

WASHINGTON -- The Rev. Al Sharpton will get $100,000 in public money for his presidential bid -- and will face an investigation into his campaign's finances, the government told the Democrat yesterday.

The Federal Election Commission is examining whether the New Yorker spent too much of his own money on his campaign. Presidential candidates who accept public financing agree to spend no more than $50,000 of their own resources.

If the FEC finds Sharpton exceeded that limit, it could order him to pay back the $100,000, with any added government grants his campaign may receive before the inquiry is completed.

At issue is Sharpton's use of his credit card for campaign expenses. If those bills are outstanding for more than 60 days, the total counts against the $50,000 personal spending limit.

The FEC will investigate whether any of $53,981 in credit card expenses were outstanding for more than 60 days. Commission auditors found $47,821 in campaign spending on Sharpton's credit card that lingered beyond the two-month limit.

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