Stan W. Heffner has resigned as Ohio’s superintendent of public instruction following an investigation by the state inspector general’s office that revealed ethical concerns about his support for certain school legislation and his use of state resources last year.
Mr. Heffner stepped down Aug. 10 after Ohio Inspector General Randall Meyer published a report stating that, while serving as interim superintendent in 2011, Mr. Heffner submitted testimony to the Ohio legislature in support of a bill that would have benefited the Educational Testing Service. Before stating his support for the bill, which dealt with testing for Ohio teachers, Mr. Heffner had reached an agreement to work at ETS. (Mr. Heffner ended up not going to work for the Princeton, N.J.-based testing company, and instead, formally became the state’s permanent superintendent.)
Mr. Meyer’s report also stated that Mr. Heffner, while still interim superintendent, used his executive secretary to handle personal business, such as mailing his employment application to ETS and helping him to buy a new home in Texas, where his job with ETS would have been located. When interviewed by investigators, Mr. Heffner downplayed his use of public resources for personal business.
Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, said in a statement that Mr. Heffner’s mistakes were “unfortunate” but praised Mr. Heffner for “putting Ohio’s students above everything else, including his own interests.” The Ohio Democratic Party, however, has called for a criminal probe into Mr. Heffner’s activities.
A version of this article appeared in the August 22, 2012 edition of Education Week as Ohio Superintendent Resigns After Ethics Probe