Ethics ruling clears questions about Daniels, Purdue
Friday, October 19, 2012 11:00 AM
A large obstacle has been removed from Mitch Daniels' path as he prepares to take over as Purdue University's president.
In August, Daniels requested a ruling on whether the state's post-employment rules and restrictions on lobbying applied to him.
That came after Indiana's Inspector General David Thomas and Tim Grogg, the Indiana Department of Administration's executive director of executive branch lobbying, determined that Daniels would not be barred from lobbying the Legislature once he becomes Purdue president.
In the latest ruling, released Wednesday, Thomas said the governor was not subject to the required one-year "cooling off" period because he never negotiated a contract between the state and Purdue.
While the ruling is non-binding, it should put to rest any questions about Daniels' ability to perform one of the main functions of a university president.
The ruling also says Daniels can continue to appoint university trustees and sign off on university bonds while he is governor.
However, Daniels will face some limitations. He cannot represent or help Purdue in a matter that he personally participated in as governor, Thomas said. Those would include investigations, applications, business transactions, lawsuits, economic development projects or public works projects.
If further study is to take place, it would have to be by the state's full ethics commission. But it looks as if the question has been resolved. Daniels can get on with the transition.