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Ethics in the News

This page provides links to recent news articles concerning ethics – government, business, sports, politics, education, and any other facets of life where issues of conflict of interest provide us all with food for thought.  Some ethics issues become criminal matters, some do not. Some are verifiable, others just speculative.  
Comments? Contact the Ethics Commission to let us know what you think of this page, comment on anything you read here, or suggest other links to include.
 
The New York Times
  • Independent "think tanks" or lobbyists for foreign countries?  

    A new report reveals that many of the revered "independent" research institutes receive large sums of money from foreign governments to influence Congress and/or the executive branch of government.  Some of these institutes may be violating federal law by representing foreign governments.  A very long article but worth the time. View article: September 7, 2014
     
  • The trial of of  12 school administrators and teachers accused of cheating on standardized tests to improve their students scores is about to start in Atlanta. The former superintendent of schools, Beverly L. Hall, who is alleged to be the mastermind of this massive cheating scandal, had been named the national school superintendent of the year in 2009.  Currently ill with cancer, Ms. Hall's trial has been postponed. View article: August 10, 2014
     
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo created an independent commission to investigate political corruption but then allegedly interfered on several occasions to keep the commission from investigating allegations of corruption that might have involved his interests, finally disbanding the commission after a few short months. View article: July 23, 2014
     
  • Evidence shows that while General Motors denied knowledge of, or refused to answer questions about , the cause of a number of fatal car crashes involving its cars, it had in fact concluded that sudden loss of engine power was responsible. View article: July 15, 2014
     
  • An investigation into the University of North Carolina's purported bogus classes for football players has been reopened.  Allegations of grade changing and of classes that rarely met prompted the inquiry and the number of witnesses coming forward has increased. View article: June 30, 2014
     
  • A former New York prosecutor is implicated in a scheme whereby money recovered by his office from drug dealers and others was used to pay for political consulting services (disguised as services to the prosecutor’s office.  In the same investigation, Barry Kamins, the administrative judge of the criminal court for New York City, was found to have provided political and legal advice to Hynes concerning pending criminal prosecutions.  View article and the investigative findings, June 2, 2014.
     
  • Substantial evidence shows pervasive game-fixing in World Cup soccer as well as possibly hundreds of other professional games by gambling syndicate.  
    View Article I and Article II: May 31 and June 1, 2014
  • Leyland Yee, State Senator from California, a strong gun control advocate, was charged with soliciting bribes in exchange for promoting a gun running scheme in the Philippines.  
    View Article: April 4, 2014 
The Baltimore Sun
  • The Baltimore City inspector general is expanding investigations of numerous allegations of fraud by city employees, including fire, police, transportation, and other agencies, who allegedly sought and in some cases received undeserved disability benefits. View Article: September 27, 2014
     
  • The inspector general for the City of Baltimore uncovered more fraud, abuse, and corruption in city government. Again.
    View Article: September 4, 2014
     
  • PBS is premiering a film this week on the multiple violations of journalistic ethics rules by Jayson Blair, a once highly admired young reporter for The New York Times.
    View Article: May 4, 2014
     
  • The Senate’s censure of State Senator Ulysses S. Currie may not significantly undermine his bid for reelection. 
    View Article: April 19, 2014 
  • The Mayor of Baltimore is going to post the financial disclosure statements of Baltimore City public officials online. But first, anybody who wants to look at the statement will have to provide identification.
    View Article: April 21, 2014 
  • A recent state audit revealed that several employees made over $250,000 worth of personal purchases on their state issued credit cards.
    View Article: April 2, 2014
  • A Morgan State University professor was recently charged with obtaining $200,000 in grant money from the National Science Foundation and attempting to be granted more. He allegedly used the grant money for personal expenses and to pay his wife a “salary.”
    View Article: April 2, 2014
The Washington Post
  • GUILTY. Former Governor and Mrs. McDonnell were found guilty of several counts of public corruption. Finally. View article: September 4, 2014
     
  • It's all about the money as the fall-out of the Supreme Court's decision in McCutcheon v. FEC. View article: September 2, 2014
     
  • Prosecutors reveal that former Virginia Governor, Robert F. McDonnell may have accepted more undisclosed gifts from more donors than previously publicized, including a $23,000 trip to Kiawah Island, courtesy of a member of the University of Virginia Board of Visitors. View article: June 23, 2014
     
  • It's all about the money- Representative Don Young ( Alaska) fined $60,000 for accepting improper gifts and using campaign funds improperly. View article and Appendix A for list of improper gifts: June 20, 2014
     
  • Vice-president Biden visited the Ukraine shortly after his son was hired by a Ukranian energy company that is seeking to expand business with countries outside of Russia. View article: June 7, 2014
     
  • A former highly placed city official, Kelvin Robinson, who ran unsuccessfully for D.C. council, pleaded guilty to conspiring to channel campaign contributions to candidates without reporting the funds as required by law.  View article: June 3, 2014
     
  • Virginia lawmakers rushed to enact new online disclosure requirements that may require expensive and cumbersome technology. View article: May 26, 2014
     
  • Governor McAuliffe (Va.)  vetoed a bill that would have prohibited him from soliciting campaign contributions from entities wanting to receive monies from the Governor's Development Opportunities Fund.  The reason?  The prohibition does not apply equally to state legislators. View article: May 23, 2014
     
  • The Washington D.C. Ethics Board will continue proceedings against a D.C. administrative judge. View article: May 12, 2014. Background story - view article: February 6, 2014.
     
  • Several federal appeals courts judges failed to disqualify themselves from hearing cases where one of the parties was an entity in which the judge owned stock, in apparent violation of federal law. View article: April 28, 2014
     
  • The Senate subcommittee that oversees the Department of Homeland Security reported that the former acting inspector general of that agency compromised his impartiality by routinely falsifying information and delaying investigations, and by providing confidential information to people over whom he had oversight responsibilities.  This information first came to light when the Senate subcommittee heard from a whistleblower that the IG ordered staff to withhold information pertinent to the subcommittee's investigation into the hiring of prostitutes by members of the Secret Service.
    View Article: April 24, 2014
     
  • The often unpunished failure of high-ranking officers to take seriously allegations of sexual misconduct in the ranks contributes to a lack of trust in the military by victims of sexual assault. 
    View Article: April 22, 2014
     
  • Vincent C. Gray, the mayor of Washington D.C. lost the primary in his bid for reelection. It is believed that the scandal over his defeat of the former mayor, Adrian Fenty, in 2010, resulting in the conviction of several of his campaign aides, was largely to blame for his loss.
    View Article: April 2, 2014 
Other Sources
  • The Charlotte Observer:
    The former mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina pleaded guilty and apologized to the public for accepting over $50,000 in bribes and a number of  illegal gifts while in office.  He will be sentenced later in the year for up to 20 years of prison time and up to a $250,000 fine. View article: June 3, 2014
     
  • Cup of coffee, anybody?
    View Article: April 2, 2014
     

 


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