The president of Norwalk Community College paid a $3,000 fine to settle allegations he violated the state’s ethics code by using his college’s foundation to pay for his wife to join him at four events.
David Levinson, who is also the vice president for community colleges for the Board of Regents, used $635 of Norwalk Community College Foundation funds to pay for the events.
According to CTSunlight, Levinson earned $273,491 in 2013.
In addition to the fine, Levinson repaid the cost of the events plus $113 in interest.
According to Levinson, the spending was legitimate. He paid the fine and signed a consent agreement to avoid “lengthy and costly legal proceedings.”
“The use of funds was with the Norwalk Community College Foundation’s full authorization and knowledge and there was no intent to subvert or violate the law,” Levinson said.
“At issue are changes in the Foundation accounts that now require obtaining permission from the state prior to disbursement. All of the funds were returned, with interest, as soon as we were made aware of a potential violation,” he said. “There will be no further reliance on the foundation to fund these activities.”
The Office of State Ethics said Levinson used his public office to obtain financial gain for his spouse and failed to follow the procedures for dealing with potential conflicts of interest.
“State funds, even those derived from grants from private donors, may not be used to pay for spouse’s expenses,” said OSE Executive Director Carol Carson.
The foundation’s board president, Eleanor Riemer, wrote a statement of support for Levinson. “To the extent your wife’s participation in any event resulted in a violation of the state ethics code, we are confident any such violation was inadvertent and unintentional,” Riemer said.