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Former DOC Communications Director Fined For Ethics Violations

A state ethics board has fined the former state Department of Corrections communications director for violations. The board determined that Belinda Stewart used state time and resources to run corrections oriented nonprofits.

The allegations stemmed from complaints made by state Senator Mike Carrell who remains unsatisfied with the board’s action. Tuesday Carrell sent a letter to corrections secretary Bernie Warner calling for Stewart’s termination.

Stewart was reassigned after she was accused of ordering staff to work on projects related to outside nonprofits, using state computers and vehicles to promote the organizations, and hiring members of her church to work at an agency retirement event.

Not all the allegations were substantiated, but some involved the use of state resources for private benefit according to the board.

The Executive Ethics Board fined Stewart $17,000 with $3,600 suspended, bringing her total fine to $13,400.