Bennett fined $5K for violating state ethics code

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Former State School Superintendent Tony Bennett will pay a $5,000 fine for violating the state ethics code.

Bennett has agreed to a settlement that was approved by the State Ethics Commission Thursday.

He admitted to using state government computers for political activity during an unsuccessful run for re-election in 2012.

An investigation by the state Inspector General found, however, that Bennett did not change the state’s A-to-F grading system to benefit a political contributor, something he was accused of doing.

Those allegations led Bennett to resign as Florida Commissioner of Education last year.

Attorney Larry Mackey represented Bennett at the hearing. Bennett did not attend.

“Especially as a superintendent of schools it’s all about modeling good behavior,” said Mackey afterward explaining that Bennett accepts blame, “and if there’s anybody who ought to stand up and say, whatever the rules are I need to follow them, it’s somebody like the superintendent.”

Mackey says he believes the matter is now closed.

 

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