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Mercer County charter school executive director fined

| Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 10:48 p.m.

The Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission on Tuesday fined the executive director of a Mercer County charter school for leasing properties he and his family controlled for the school's use without board approval.

James Gentile, executive director of Keystone Education Center Charter School, violated conflict of interest rules, the commission said. It fined him $7,000.

The charter school, founded in 1997, accepts students from 40 school districts in Western Pennsylvania.

Gentile became the school's director in July 1997. He was a member of the school's board of directors from that time through January 2010, state officials said.

Charter school trustees are considered public officials in Pennsylvania.

From the 2006-07 through 2011-12 school years, the school paid $714,120 in leases for two Greenville properties owned by Gentile Enterprises, a company owned by Gentile and his family, without board approval, the state said.

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