August 4, 2013
Last October, 2012 began a list of Who's the Worst in anticipation of teaching Ethics in the spring. Today's news suggests it is time to begin again. It will be hard to top the story of Rita Crundwell. Ah, she is back in the news, I googled for a link and by golly, Rita has appealed her 20 yar sentence. After stealing some $54 Million from the residents of Dixon, IL, Rita now denies that they were victims, just parties of interest. Well nothing like a rationalization once you are behind bars. We will put Rita back on the list as we learn what the prosecutors will say to this novel appeal.
But already we have some candidates whose names we have seen before. As I learned last year I need to allow for multiple categories so here goes.
Fraudsters are Criminals but they Aren't Stupid
A TV Anchor allowed her new boy frined to move in with her. He quickly used her accounts as cover for his fraud scheme. He promised to find lost assets for a fee. When he sensed the authorities wer on his trail, he fled to his home country of Greece. Greece has refused to turn him over. She plead guilty to a misdemanor of filing false tax returns. But as the IRS observed, with over 13 wire of more than $10,000 surely she knew something was going on.
Be careful who you let have access to your bank account.
Idols with Clay Feet
Michael Dell was hailed as the smartest guy in Austin, or at least Round Rock, just ten years ago. Who could go wrong buying Dell Stock a realtor asked me at the time? Today Mike is scrambling to stay in charge of his own company. He bumped the bid to go private a dime to $13.75 plus a 13 cent dividend to exiting shareholders. The ethical question here is, should Mike get to stay on after failing to deliver value for shareholders? He gets to vote all his shares which of course he got for free anyway, gee is that ethical?
Dr. Kern Wildenthal Past President of the UT Soutwhest Medical School in Dallas, resigned his positon in late 2012. He had worked there for 42 years, 22 as President. The endowment grew by $1 billion while he was president. Yet in appropriate billings for travel brought him down. This resulted in a $140,000 audit by Grant Thornton. I leanred of this at a presentatino by UTSA auditors at the August SA IIA meeting. For example, he claimed he had visited a hospital in New Zealand on a trip. Yet a call to the hospital revealed he had not done so. No doubt he was well compensated, I would guess that job paid several hundred thousand by year 2000. Yet he frittered away his steallar career for a few trips.
Politicans Gone Wild
Another Day, Another school cheating scandal. THere have been numerous cases of schools, ordered to improve test results, simply providing or correcting answers to provide better results Eighteen people plead guilty in Atlanta while the school superintendent did not. Now we have an 'improbably result' in Philadelphia. The year old superintendent, like Captain Renault in Casablanca, is shocked.
Joe Santiago, a former Democrat State Representative, got four years to do in his part of the bribery ring of State District Judge Abel Limas. We mentioned this case last year. One lawyer who plead guilty and was facing a similar four years or so, took his life by diving off a bridge.
Kathleen Parker has Anthony Weiner defining deviancy down. As Kathleen points out, we are somehow letting people off the hook for exposing themselves on the internet as opposed to doing the same n a public park. This has led to some truly creative headlines on the part of Drudge. will he stay in the race, will he become the next Mayor of New York City, the primary is Sept 10, all the more reason to start our list now.
Eliot Spitzer was Attorney General and then Governor of New York State. He resigned in 2008 amid evidence he was involved in a prostitution ring, which as Heidi Fleiss can attest is actually illegal in this country. Spitzer is back, now running for New York Controller, is dodging questions about a girl friend. His wife is not on the campaign trail. Hey folks, guys like this are the gift that keep on giving for an Ethics Teacher.
We don't really mean to be salacious on this blog, perhaps this political section needs at least an R Rating, but honeslty we just report, you decide. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner begins a two week therapy session for, well you read the story, but once again conduct unbecoming to women. Will 70 year old Filner become cured in two weeks? We'll be on the story!
August 2013, sure enough after 18 women accused Filner of improper behavior, he has agreed to step down August 30.
NCAA investigates Johnny Manziel for allegedly taking money for autographs. Actions have consequences. Now A & M has to make some decisions. If they play JM and he is found guilty, they forfeit any games won when he plays. But the star quarterback led the team to last year's 11-2 outcome, so benching him means re making the team strategy.
Lance Armstrong sued the London Sunday Times and won 300,000 pounds over an article which claimed he used performance enhancing drugs. Once he admitted this last year that he had, the paper wanted both the 300,000 plus their 720,000 pounds in court costs. Lance has now settled with the paper. I expect most of his future will be consumed as a legal defendant.
DeLoitte fined $22 M for advice to MG Rover. The oversight group in England has been criticzed for being soft on accountants. the largest previous fine was a mere $1.4 M. I'd say they are getting serious.
Book mark this page, it is bound to grow in the coming months!