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Fundraiser lists, emails raise Bennett questions

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Former Indiana schools chief Tony Bennett faces scrutiny over the discovery of lists of Republican fundraisers on Department of Education servers and emails he sent directing staff to dissect a speech by Democrat Glenda Ritz.

An election law attorney says the fundraiser lists and an August 2012 email to aides including chief of staff Heather Neal appear to violate election and ethics laws prohibiting state employees from engaging in political activity while on duty. The rules also bar them from ordering others to do so and using state resources for political purposes.

Bennett denies any violations and says the fundraising lists were used to make "thank you calls" after the election.

Inspector General David Thomas says his office is investigating Bennett but won't discuss the nature of the probe.

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.

It's rare to have officials prosecuted because finding proof of violations can be difficult. Complaints typically go to the state inspector general, then to prosecutors if charges appear warranted. Prosecutors also can launch investigations on their own.

In 1995, former Indiana Clerk of Courts Dwayne Brown was convicted of ghost employment for using state employees to help with his campaign for Congress. He received a three-year suspended sentence, was ordered to perform community service and lost his law license.

Former Indiana School Superintendent Harold Negley resigned in April 1985, two months before pleading guilty to charges of ghost employment and official misconduct. Negley and a top aide each received a one-year suspended sentence for using state employees to campaign on state time in Negley's 1984 re-election bid.

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  • You can bet on...
    ...the fact that Bennett, Daniels and the rest of these Republicons are the most corrupt politicians in a long line of corrupt Republicons...it's a pay-as-you-go system with these repugnantly corrupt criminals and their self-appointed judges allow them to get away with theft, literally
  • Seems guilty...
    I do hope our Inspector General looks at all the actions for awarding tax supported charter schools to political donors. We need to award schools with competitive bids and requirements as we do highways. Giving school tax dollars to politically connected friends is corruption. I see corruption in the charter school business.

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

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