Tag Archives: ethics

What is Wrong With This Scenario?

In the March 18th issue of the Wall Street Journal, an article appeared entitled “Law Schools Face Scrutiny on Job Claims.” The essence of the article was that numerous law schools were misrepresenting the percentage of legal jobs available to their graduate students. The higher the percentage of jobs available, the more likely that college applicants will choose a law school with an attractive percentage of law firms or government jobs available.

The reason for the “scrutiny” is because the designated law schools were fudging the figures by providing non-legal jobs paid for by the law school to graduates to increase the percentage without revealing that these temporary jobs were with non-profit companies and others that often expired within a year of graduation. After spending three years and loads of money to become a lawyer, the students deserve honesty from their law schools.

What is wrong with this scenario? As I point out in “Ethical Meltdown,” this type of arrangement violates a rule of ethics known as “Conflict of Interest.” A conflict of interest occurs when there is a situation in which an individual or corporation (or law school) is in a position to exploit a professional or official capacity in some way for personal benefit.

When law schools violate this ethical rule, this should be a wake-up call for the Dean, the professors who teach ethics, and for the Board of Regents, many of whom are probably law graduates from the schools in question.

Ethical Meltdown Gets a Rave Review

In the December 28, 2012 edition of the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, my book Ethical Meltdown, received a wonderful review from Vicki Cabot.

A slim volume with a striking red, black and white cover, the book makes a passionate argument for an American moral resurgence through renewed emphasis on ethics in our classrooms, courtrooms and boardrooms. No sector of the society goes unexamined as Frazer brings his steady gaze to bear on misuse of funds, power and influence. Training his eyes first on his own profession, Frazer explains how his experience more than 30 years ago in the Don Bolles murder case provoked his awareness of moral lapse.

 

Here’s a link to the full article:

 

 

 

Misconduct in the Military

In my book, “Ethical Meltdown,” I did not cover the military in order to limit the book to two hundred pages. However, in light of the news that hit the media after my publication date, it is clear that the lack of ethics in the military is part of our national moral disintegration.
General Petraeus, the Commander in Afghanistan, and until recently, Director of the CIA, made news all over the world because of his affair with Paula Broadwell and his emails to her. We then learned that Marine General John Allen, presently the top commander in Afghanistan, had emailed between 20-30,000 pages to his girlfriend, Tampa Socialite Jill Kelley.  Both men are married and not to these women!
Next we find out that the US Air Force is taking broad measures to prevent sexual misconduct against female recruits during basic training. The Air Force said it had identified twenty-three instructors that had unprofessional relationships with, or committed sexual assaults against forty-eight trainees. Five of the instructors have been court-martialed and convicted, and one staff sergeant was sentenced to twenty years in prison. Apparently, this conduct has been going on for some time, according to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Obviously there is an epidemic of unethical behavior that is reaching staggering proportions in our military, which only reflects the country as a whole.
This unethical conduct is only a small part of the military story. A growing number of career soldiers have confessed to siphoning millions of dollars from defense contractors in Iraq and Kuwait. Stay tuned for my next blog.

Another Public Figure Scandal

Often, the most amazing source of bad behavior occurs in your own city or state. In this instance, the news emanated from Tucson, Arizona.
Paul Babeu has been Sheriff of Pinal County and has established a strong reputation in attempting to keep our border with Mexico safe from illegal immigrants and dangerous drug gangs. Now Sheriff Babeu is now running for Congress. An illegal immigrant who was a male campaign assistant to Babeu went public that he had a sexual relationship with the sheriff. He further alleged that Babeu threatened him with deportation if he revealed this relationship.
Much like Representative Weiner from New York, Babeu had partially dressed pictures of himself with his male friend on the internet.Sheriff Babeu now complains that he is being targeted for being gay. Rather, he is being targeted for bad judgment and hypocritical behavior.
My advice to the sheriff is: write a letter of apology to your constituents and campaign staff and then resign as a Congressional candidate and as Sheriff of Pinal County. You have lost your credibility.

Google’s $500 Million Settlement

According to the Wall St. Journal (11/25/12), Google was caught in a criminal sting operation that the company recently settled for $500 million. Question: Was the punishment enough when top Google executives were knowingly involved?

Larry Page, Google’s Chief Executive admitted in a U.S. Attorney investigation, that he knew the pharmaceutical ads on Google websites were illegal. Those websites were not licensed pharmacies, but were selling such narcotics as oxycodone and hydrocodone. it was also discovered that a Google sales office in China was selling Prozac and Valium to U.S. customers without a prescription.

Further, it was found in an investigation by Consumer Watchdog that a large number of companies selling loan modification schemes on Google were fraudulent. In November 2011, the Troubled Asset Relief Program said it had shut down 85 alleged online modification schemes that defrauded homeowners through Google ads.

In light of the above facts, was the Google punishment adequate? I would vote “no.” A half billion dollars is a large forfeiture, but Google presently holds cash of $45 billion. Secondly, purchasers of illegal drugs could cause serious harm to the health of sick online customers. Third, I doubt the punishment will deter other online sellers who will probably continue pushing illicit drugs.