State ethics chairman violates ethics rules by donating to GOP candidates

The chairman of the state’s ethics panel violated state law by donating $250 to Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell and two other Republican candidates vying for the legislature in 2008, reports the Office of State Ethics.

G. Kenneth Bernhard, chairman of the Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board and an attorney from Westport, said he was “unaware of the prohibition” and expects “my conduct will be evaluated and handled in the same fashion as everyone else who is subject to the code.”

State laws ban members of the ethics board, and employees of the ethics office, from making campaign contributions to state officials.

Bernhard donated $100 to Rell, $100 to Vincent Marino of Orange who lost against Sen. Gayle S. Slossberg and $50 to Nitzy Cohen of Westport who lost to Rep. Joseph S. Mioli.