Del. Treasurer Candidate Addresses Brush with Law in College - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Treasurer Candidate Addresses Brush with Law in College

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Ken Simpler Ken Simpler
DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Ken Simpler, a Republican candidate for Delaware state treasurer, is addressing an alcohol-related brush with the law from his college years.

Simpler is a financial professional - currently CFO for Seaboard Hotels. In 1988 while attending Princeton University, he was president of one of the school's 13 eating clubs. They are kind of like fraternities or sororities.

According a New York Times article from back then, a night of partying for the hundreds of kids in those clubs led to about 40 students needing medical attention. Simpler and another student in his organization were arrested and convicted on a charge of serving alcohol to minors.

The incident followed close on the heels of an alcohol-related death of a student at nearby Rutgers University.

"The judge who heard our case lived in the community with the Rutgers student who had passed away," said Simpler. "He was well aware of the other student who'd had an alcohol induced coma at another club. He basically wanted to make a statement and send a message."

That judge sentenced them to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. At the time Princeton University called it "disproportionate and excessive." Simpler says the sentence was later overturned.

"While my opponents will want to popularize the notion I was sentence to serve 30 days, the judge was making a statement. He knew he was making a statement. It was reversed, and I did community service and paid a $500 fine."

His primary opponent, Sher Valenzuela, spoke with WBOC and used the phrases "flaw in judgement" and "character flaw" in discussing what happened.

Simpler says this occurred more than a quarter century ago, and he has not had any issues since. He adds he learned from what happened.

"If I could go back in time, would I have done things differently then? Absolutely. But learning what I did learn has served me in many leadership contexts."

That's a case he'll be making to voters, and they'll get to weigh, as Delaware heads toward its primary elections on Sept. 9.

WBOC reached out to the state Republican Party on this story. Leaders there had no comment.

Democrats have a state treasurer race primary, too. Incumbent Chip Flowers is going up against Sean Barney, a former aide to Gov. Jack Markell

**Ken Simpler sits on the board of directors for the company that owns WBOC.
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