Ohio Schools Superintendent Stan Heffner acted improperly when he testified last year in favor of legislation that benefited a private education company that he planned to work for, according to an Ohio inspector general's report released today.
Heffner, who was hired by the state school board with the support of Gov. John Kasich, already had entered into an employment agreement with Educational Testing Service, headquartered in Princeton, N.J., when he testified before an Ohio Senate committee in May 2011 in favor of legislation that increased Ohio's use of tests provided by ETS.
"By providing testimony to the legislature as the state's principal employee for leadership in education, in support of a bill that could and ultimately did benefit a corporation with which he entered into an agreement of employment, Heffner failed to meet the standards of proper governmental conduct," Inspector General Randy Meyer's report said.
Heffner was interim superintendent at the time of his testimony. He was offered the permanent job a couple of months later. Once he accepted the state's job offer, he no longer pursued employment with ETS, said a spokesman for the Department of Education.