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Ethics panel approves $5,000 fine against Bennett

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Indiana's State Ethics Commission has approved a $5,000 fine against former state schools Superintendent Tony Bennett for using state resources in his 2012 campaign.

State investigators found that Bennett's state and campaign staffs coordinated his calendar at his Statehouse office and that campaign lists were downloaded to state computers after November 2012 election loss.

The board voted unanimously for the settlement Thursday without discussion. Bennett didn't attend the hearing. Bennett's lawyer said he was on vacation with his family.

Bennett issued a statement Wednesday night acknowledging "mistakes" and said he would have rewritten his department's policy to allow for limited campaign work.

Inspector General David Thomas says a $5,000 fine is normal for cases like Bennett's.

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