Email correspondence and computer data near the end of his tenure suggest that former Indiana Superintendent Tony Bennett may have skirted a state law that prohibits the use of state resources for political purposes.
In an Aug. 28, 2012, email obtained by the Associated Press, for example, Mr. Bennett asked his staff to review a campaign speech by his opponent in the November election, Glenda Ritz, and to identify “every inaccuracy and utterance of stupidity that comes out of her mouth.” The AP also reported that three of Mr. Bennett’s fundraising lists and a “donor list” were discovered on state computers.
Indiana law prohibits the use of state resources for political purposes. Violations are punishable by up to three years in prison.
Mr. Bennett and his then-chief of staff, Heather Neal, denied to the AP that they used Indiana education department resources in his unsuccessful re-election bid. Public prosecutors in Indiana declined to comment on the information from the AP.
A version of this article appeared in the September 18, 2013 edition of Education Week as Ind. Records Eyed For Political Role