Bennett fined $5K for violating state ethics code

FILE - Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett talks about the 2011 results of statewide tests measuring math, English, science and social studies skills in grades 3 through 8 during a news conference in Indianapolis, Tuesday, July 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

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. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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