A senior Department of Education official is admitting to poor judgement and "unacceptable" behavior, but won't get any punishment beyond counseling, the Associated Press reports.

Danny Harris, the department's chief information officer, gave a government contract to a friend's company, improperly worked with two subordinates on a side business and failed to pay taxes on the profits earned for that side business. Harris used his official Department of Education email account for work on the side business. He also helped a relative get a job at the department and gave a $4,000 loan to a subordinate.

The Department of Education's deputy inspector general says Harris was on a panel that awarded a government contract to a friend's company, but that his participation didn't mean the process was improper.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia could have pressed charges on Harris but decided not to, preferring to allow the department to address the matter. Harris evidently faced no dock in pay or suspension without pay.

Even after all that suspicious activity, Acting Education Secretary John King says he expects Harris will not do anything improper in the future. "I stated my expectation," King said, "that Dr. Harris ensure that absolutely no questions or issues of appearance arise again in the future."

Jason Russell is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.