Former education commissioner Tony Bennett faces another scandal
When it rains it pours for Tony Bennett. The former Florida education commissioner, who quit in August amid allegations that he fixed a school grade in Indiana for an influential supporter, now faces allegations that he misused his Indiana staff for campaign work. The Associated Press, which also broke the first story, reports:
INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Indiana schools chief Tony Bennett kept multiple campaign databases on Department of Education servers and ordered his staff to dissect a speech by his Democratic opponent for inaccuracies last fall in apparent violations of Indiana election and ethics laws, documents obtained by The Associated Press show.
Bennett on Wednesday denied instructing his staff to do campaign work and told The Associated Press one of the lists was used to make "thank you calls" on his own time after the election.
Indiana law prohibits state employees from engaging in political activity, including seeking contributions, while on duty or acting in an official capacity. It also bars state employees from working on anything outside their official job duties while on the clock, or ordering others to do so, and from using state resources for political purposes.
None of these accusations are related to Bennett's work in Florida, where many leaders encouraged him to remain.