Pence Aide With Role In Grade Scandal Leaving State Government


Gov. Mike Pence’s chief lobbyist is leaving the administration. Heather Neal also served as chief of staff to former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett and played a significant role in the changing of grades for a charter school funded by a prominent Republican donor. Copies of emails obtained by the Associated Press indicate Bennett and Neal frantically intervened late last year on behalf of the Cristel House Academy to boost the school’s grade from a C to an A. “The Journal Gazette” reports Neal is joining Limestone Strategies as president of its public affairs practice. The company is based in Indianapolis and Washington, D.C. Bennett lost his reelection bid to Glenda Ritz last November and was hired as state education commissioner in Florida. He resigned from that job after news of the grading scandal broke.