The president of Norwalk Community College, who lives in Westport, has agreed to pay $3,000 in fines to settle allegations that he violated the state Code of Ethics by using public money to pay for his wife's fees at four 2010 events.
David Levinson, according to a statement Thursday from the Office of State Ethics, will pay a total of $3,000 in civil penalties in the case -- $1,000 for violating section 1-84 (c) of the Code of Ethics, and $2,000 for violating Section 1-86 (a).
Three of the four events at issue were charity and social events held for the benefit of entities other than NCC, and the final event was a conference held in Seattle, Wash. Levinson's wife accompanied him to each of the events, according to a news release from the ethics office.
Her fees for each of these events were paid with money previously granted to NCC by the Norwalk Community College Foundation, a private foundation affiliated with NCC, according to ethics officials. Levinson's wife was not a state employee at the time, and had no formal role at NCC or at the foundation.
After the Enforcement Division of the Office of State Ethics began investigating Levinson's conduct, the agency said that he reimbursed NCC for the expenditures he had authorized, plus interest.
In agreeing to sign a consent order, Levinson denied that he violated the Code of Ethics, and said he believed that the foundation was aware that he was authorizing funds for his wife's fees and had approved, according to the news release. He agreed to resolve the matter to avoid what he felt would be "lengthy and costly legal proceedings."
"State funds, even those derived from grants from private donors, may not be used to pay for spouse's expenses," said Carol Carson, the executive director of the Office of State Ethics.