The hearing on whether former State School Superintendent Tony Bennett used his state office for political work has been postponed. The State Ethics Commission’s hearing was supposed to take place on Wednesday, but the commission rescheduled the hearing for May 8th. No reason for the delay was given.
Inspector General David Thomas announced in November that it appeared Bennett used computers and staff in the state superintendent‘s office to conduct campaign work while he sought re-election in 2012. E-mails obtained by the Associated Press showed that Bennett‘s computer in the state superintendent‘s office contained the name of a Republican donor as well as email conversations about his then-opponent in the election, Democrat Glenda Ritz. The complaint accuses Bennett of using his computer for fundraising and to schedule campaign meetings and phone calls.
Bennett requested an Inspector General investigation to try to clear him of wrongdoing in the calculation of 2012‘s A-to-F grades for schools. E-mail showed that Bennett‘s staff made a last-minute change to the formula to ensure an A for the Christel House charter school in Indianapolis. Bennett‘s call for an investigation came on the day he resigned as Florida‘s education commissioner. It‘s unclear whether that investigation is complete.