WOSU-TV presents the tenth installment of the Columbus Neighborhoods series. This latest documentary profiles the city of Bexley.
Democrats Call For Criminal Investigation Of Heffner
Last Thursday, Ohioâ€™s Inspector General released a report that concluded the state schoolsâ€™ chief, Stan Heffner, had â€œfailed to meet the standards of proper governmental conduct.â€ Within two days, Stan Heffner had resigned.
But Ohio Democrats are saying thatâ€™s not enough.
The Inspector Generalâ€™s report was based on testimony Stan Heffner gave last year before Ohio lawmakers supporting a bill that increases teacher testing in the state. At the time, Heffner was set to take a job with one of the nationâ€™s largest testing companies, which could have benefited greatly from that kind of law. The IGâ€™s report also said Heffner used his secretary, state time and equipment to scout out a new home, try to sell his old one and make travel arrangements for his new job.
After the report came out, Heffner apologized publicly. But a firestorm had started, and by Saturday, Heffner had resigned. In a statement, he said â€œmuch needed components underway in Ohioâ€™s schools are too important to let anything get in their way.â€
But the Ohio Democratic Party says heâ€™s getting off easy.
“These are serious criminal allegations and he should be part of a criminal investigation,” says party chairman Chris Redfern.
Redfern says other lawmakers have had to face criminal charges for their misdeeds, like former Republican lobbyist Tom Noe, who was convicted of steering state investments into his rare coin fund.
“Tom Noe didnâ€™t get to resign and go away, others didnâ€™t get the chance to resign and go away when they were involved in Republican pay-to-play scandals. Mr. Heffner and others around him in the Department of Education should be held to account.”
The Inspector General doesnâ€™t have the authority to prosecute, but his report has been delivered to prosecuting authorities in Franklin County, Columbus, and at the Ohio Ethics Commission.