Ethics panel considers $5K fine against Bennett

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)
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 (AP) — Indiana’s State Ethics Commission will decide whether to accept a proposed settlement with former state schools Superintendent Tony Bennett that fines him $5,000 for using state resources for his 2012 campaign.

The settlement was reached this week between Bennett’s defense lawyers and state Inspector General David Thomas. The ethics commission is meeting Thursday morning.

A copy of the settlement released Wednesday showed Bennett admitted to having his state and campaign staff coordinate his calendar at his Statehouse office using state computers. The report also found that his staff transferred Republican fundraising lists to state computers after he lost his re-election bid.

Bennett resigned as Florida’s schools chief last August after The Associated Press published emails showing he had changed Indiana’s “A-F” school-grading formula to benefit a campaign donor’s charter school.

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