Bennett: Paperwork issue not deliberate
Candidacy papers for state representative hopeful Tom Bennett were apparently filed using a state fax machine by a state worker, which would be a violation of state ethics laws.
Bennett, one of five Republican candidates for the 106th House District seat, said last week in a telephone interview with the Pontiac Daily Leader that he recently became aware of the violation and apologized.
“Part of this campaign is building trust and I was just made aware of this problem. We want to do the right thing and we will moving forward,” Bennett said.
The candidate said the problem stemmed from how his former campaign treasurer, Andrew Killian, filed required candidacy papers with the Illinois State Board of Elections. Killian was working at the time from his Urbana office with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
State ethics laws state that employees “shall not intentionally perform any prohibited political activity during any compensated time.
State employees shall not intentionally misappropriate any state property or resources by engaging in any prohibited political activity for the benefit of any campaign for elective office or any political organization.”
The problem was found when WGFA radio in Watseka was checking the five candidates’ D-1 Statement of Organization documents
in Springfield. WGFA reported Bennett’s documents filed in March and June of 2011 were sent from the DCFS Urbana office when Killian was working. The radio station reported that Killian had signed the documents as campaign treasurer.
Any investigation into Killian’s role will remain confidential until the case is closed, state officials said.
“Andrew is no longer with the campaign, but that is because he took a different job with DCFS and the demands of that job forced him to scale back with us. He helped us organize and file papers, I’m sure there was nothing deliberate," Bennett said.
“However, this is my campaign and I do take full responsibility,” Bennett continued. “But I’m staying focused on creating good jobs for the people in this district and dealing with the problems of the state, such as a miserable economy and revamping workers compensation. I can just go forward.”
Bennett is a longtime employee of State Farm Insurance Co. and a member of the Parkland Community College Board of Trustees.
Also vying for the Republican nomination for the 106th District are Pontiac residents Brian Gabor and Scott McCoy, Dwight resident Richard Thomas and Watseka resident Josh Harms.