COLUMBUS — Prosecutors have decided not to file charges against Ohio’s former superintendent of schools who resigned amid ethical questions about his work for an educational testing contractor.
Stan Heffner left office last month after the state watchdog released a report that found he was on the payroll of a testing firm when he lobbied state lawmakers last year on a bill that benefited the company.
The inspector general’s report also found that Mr. Heffner misused his state email and cell phone to communicate with Educational Testing Services and inappropriately had Department of Education employees handle personal matters such as a pending move to Texas and the sale of his house in suburban Columbus.
City and county prosecutors said in a letter received by the inspector general on Monday that they were troubled by the charges, but they didn’t rise to the level of criminal conduct.
They said they agreed with the decision of Inspector General Randy Meyer not to request criminal charges.
The prosecutors made their decision “despite our belief that Mr. Heffner acted inappropriately in both instances,” according to the letter from Lara Baker, chief Columbus prosecutor, and Jeff Blake, assistant county prosecutor.
Mr. Heffner, 60, said, “I never committed a crime, and I’m just glad the prosecutors agree with that position,” he said Monday.
The lobbying allegation arose from testimony Mr. Heffner made in May, 2011, before the Senate Finance Committee about a bill that would have required extra teacher testing.
The testing would be handled by Princeton, N.J.-based Educational Testing Service. At the time, Mr. Heffner — then interim schools superintendent — had accepted a job in the service’s San Antonio office.
Prosecutors said Mr. Heffner should have disclosed the job to the committee but that the state school board knew about the job.