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Ex-Indiana schools chief Bennett ineligible for county seat

February 3, 2017

Former state schools superintendent Tony Bennett can't fill a vacant Clark County Council seat because he hasn't lived there long enough.

Republican precinct committee members elected Bennett to the vacancy Wednesday, but when the News and Tribune of Jeffersonville informed him Thursday that state law required residency of at least one year, he said he would step aside. Bennett says he's lived there about six months.

Attorney Larry Wilder said he misread the statute before advising Bennett and the party on the matter.

After Bennett's unsuccessful 2012 re-election bid, the former Clark County school superintendent became Florida's education commissioner but resigned after The Associated Press published emails showing he changed Indiana's school-grading system to benefit a top Republican donor's charter school. The Indiana inspector general also found he broke ethics laws.

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