Wednesday, February 06, 2008

If Detroit's Mayor Were a CEO, He'd Be Fired

Q: What would happen if Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who is accused of having an affair with his chief of staff and lying about it under oath, were the chief executive of a major corporation or nonprofit group instead of the mayor of Detroit?

A: His fate would be a foregone conclusion. He'd be fired. (I think we could say the same for Monica Lewinsky's ex-boyfriend.)

Read more here of University of Michigan's David Hess' (Ross School professor of business ethics) editorial in the Detroit News

Bottom Line: Isn't it interesting that the private sector now has higher ethical standards for its CEOs than the public sector has for its highest elected officials?

20 Comments:

At 2/06/2008 12:15 PM, Anonymous bob wright said...

He caused the taxpayers of Detroit to pay $9M in order to cover this up.

$9M of public money to pay for what amounts to a personal problem.

Seems to me this borders on embezzlement.

The amazing thing is that according to a recent survey, some 40% of Detroiters didn't think he should resign.

If you think this is OK and Kilpatrick should not resign, then no more complaining about CEOs getting paid too much, politicians getting kickbacks, U.S. Congressman with $100k cash in their freezers, etc.

Apparently, it's open season on fraud and corruption.

If perjury doesn't matter, then remove it from the books and release from prison all the men and women currently serving time for perjury.

As one boss of Tammany Hall famously said: "It's not graft, I just seen my opportunities and I took them."

 
At 2/06/2008 12:43 PM, Anonymous sarlevin@umflint.edu said...

It is undoubtedly embezzlement. When an individual uses public or company money for their own purposes it is embezzlement. I can understand why people felt the cheating part was a private matter, and it was, until he used public funds to take his affair on the road. Detroit has a long history of corrupt officials but I have to say that this is the most appaling example of corruption and theft in a very long time. The city of Detroit and the state in general are in a precarious financial situation but somehow millions of dollars are being spent on wasteful things by the highest elected official our biggest city has. And yet, the more the suburbanites rail against him the more the people from the city suuport him. It's mind boggling!

 
At 2/06/2008 12:51 PM, Blogger spencer said...

Maybe you should ask Jack Welsh this question.

He had an affair with an immediate subordinate that he originally denied-- although not under oath.

but nothing was done about the affair or the dishonesty.

Maybe you could explain the difference between this case and the GE situation.

 
At 2/06/2008 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwame_Kilpatrick

Kilpatrick is the gift that keeps on giving for the media. Perjury is only the latest scandal for man ie. $210,000 in expenses in 33 months or leasing a red Lincoln SUV for use by his family, or taking money from a fund for a family vacation.

Even worse than his inability to separate personal items from public funds is his management of the financial affairs of Detroit. Unlike a private business where financial performance is required to attract and retain investment, there is no power which can compel a fiscally incompetent public official to resign.

It is time that elected officials were required to perform to some standards. A politician should not be centured for making an unpopular decision but there should be a means of control to ensure that gross financial incompetence and gross violations of conflict of interest guidelines are not tolerated.

Time for a red card.

 
At 2/06/2008 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting that the private sector now has higher ethical standards for its CEOs than the public sector has for its highest elected officials?

No! It is an indication just how stoopid the American voter really is.

What we need is personal liability in the public sector. I'd like to see Kwame personally liable for the damages caused to the City of Detroit.

 
At 2/06/2008 1:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bob wright, if you want to really get your blood boiling take a look at how many people perjure themselves and how many of them are charged with perjury.

 
At 2/06/2008 1:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the people of Detroit are DUMB enough to return this reptile to public office, then THEY DESERVE HIM!

 
At 2/06/2008 2:41 PM, Anonymous bob wright said...

Anonymous 1:39 pm:

OK.

How many people DO perjure themselves and are charged with perjury?

 
At 2/06/2008 2:48 PM, Blogger randian said...

When did the public sector ever have higher ethical standards than the private sector? Last I looked fraud and corruption pretty much always gets private sector employees fired immediately, while in many cases public sector employees can stay on the job for years. This is especially true in civil service jobs, where governments frequently allow employees to retire and collect pension benefits because it would take longer to fire them for misconduct than it would to wait for their retirement. Clearly it's more important for management to take the easy way out than it is for them to protect the taxpayer from paying decades of pension benefits.

 
At 2/06/2008 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spencer, if you can't divine the differences bewteen government at any level and publicly-held corporations, that's a deeper and more persistent problem than you will solve by reading CD. I'd like to think that you are being sarcastic or intentionally obtuse, but around here, the leftards make one wonder.

skh.pcola

 
At 2/06/2008 4:44 PM, Blogger spencer said...

What's the matter, anonymous,
the truth bother you.

 
At 2/06/2008 4:47 PM, Blogger spencer said...

Perry said that a private CEO would be fired.

All I did was point out the first exception that came to mind.

Maybe Perry could explain why Jack Welsh doesn't count.

 
At 2/06/2008 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he were in china he would be shot, this country could use a little of that, kinda keeps people focused.

 
At 2/06/2008 5:17 PM, Anonymous bob wright said...

Did Welsh lie about it under oath, use GE money to cover it up and fire three GE employees who threatened to expose him?

 
At 2/06/2008 6:35 PM, Anonymous Fred said...

So, where is the board of directors, i.e. the voters, while all this is going on?

 
At 2/06/2008 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough of this foolishness I want to here about how we are not going to have a recession and how the Dow is going to 15000.

 
At 2/06/2008 6:42 PM, Blogger randian said...

I can't say we aren't going to have a recession, but I can say we are not in a recession. All economic indicators are good, despite the media spin.

 
At 2/06/2008 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks to me like he's demonstrated the necessary skills to be a successful politican. Kwame for president. Possible running mate: Marion Barry

 
At 2/07/2008 5:54 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"He had an affair with an immediate subordinate that he originally denied-- although not under oath...

Hmmm, do you have something credible that Welsh used GE shareholder money to carry on this alledged affair?

 
At 2/07/2008 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

His name is Welch, not Welsh.

 

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