Thursday, April 10, 2008

LED Scandal - Brief Commentary

Here's the thing, or, rather, several things that make up one mostly coherent point:

(1) Pittsburgh is a small town.

(2) We all run in overlapping circles.

(3) The political/government gang all run in the same circle.

(4) It is not surprising, therefore, that in many instances Public Officials may encounter their friends in the course of their duties.

(5) It is not inappropriate for friends to give friends gifts.

(6) Therefore, there may be times when friends give gifts to their Public Official friends.

(7) There may be times when friends request favors from their Public Official friends.

And now here's the catch:

Irrespective of whether anyone gets gifts from one's friends, it is the responsibility of a Public Official who, in acting in an official capacity, could make a decision that could directly benefit a friend to not make that decision. It is the responsibility of a public official to refrain from any activity that one might consider "impropriety."

What I'm saying is this: if someone gives a Public Official a gift of non-nominal value and later the Public Official must make a decision that will effect that someone, it is the responsibility of the Public Official to recuse him/herself from that decision... no matter how small that town is.

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