HARTFORD -- The state's top ethics official, who faced complaints from employees and criticism for violating state motor vehicle laws, said yesterday that he will resign.
Benjamin Bycel, executive director of the newly reorganized Office of State Ethics, said he will remain with the agency no later than Oct. 11.
"I have completed my work in helping to establish the Office of State Ethics. It's time for another challenge and time for me to return to my home state," Bycel wrote in a brief resignation letter.
Bycel, who is originally from California, said he would not comment further.
He apologized in June for failing to obtain a Connecticut driver's license and registration after he moved from Vermont to Hartford about a year and a half ago, The Hartford Courant reported. Because he didn't register his car, Bycel owes back property taxes, city officials have said.
Bycel met behind closed doors yesterday with the Citizens' Ethics Advisory Board of the Office of State Ethics to go over his annual evaluation. According to the evaluation, he needed to improve staff relations and communications, as well as interagency collaboration and communication.
The evaluation, however, identified Bycel's efforts to establish the infrastructure of the new agency as a strength. It also credited him with being fiscally responsible and overseeing the implementation of a computer network that was "significantly under budget and ahead of schedule."
Patricia Hendel, the advisory board's chairwoman , said the board did not ask Bycel to resign.
"I wasn't thinking about that. We were thinking of an evaluation and moving on," Hendel said. The board pointed out things Bycel had done well and areas where improvement was needed, she added.
"I think the board thinks he has done very well in establishing the office," she said. "It has been difficult. We hope to move ahead and continue to have a strong ethics office."