Now THESE Are Unethical University Administrators…

Harvard_ShieldHarvard University police say that an investigation revealed that former Harvard Law School administrators Meg DeMarco, 33, and Darris Saylors, 32, stole about $110,000  from a university account that exists to  to assist  students with disabilities. 

 

The investigation commenced in November 2013 when a new budget manager at the law school noticed some accounting discrepancies.  DeMarco and Saylors then resigned from their positions at the Dean of Students office. The ensuing inquiry revealed that the two had taken money out of the  fund to  buy dozens of laptops, iPads, iPods and other electronics, which police traced to  DeMarco’s home and Saylors’ apartment, but also to the homes of Saylors’ friends and family in California, Washington and Tennessee.  DeMarco used a mobile card reader to deposit school money directly into her banking account. In addition to the electronics, Saylors used Amazon to buy purses, clothing, jewelry, and even sex toys.

The Law School announced that “As a result of this matter, the Law School implemented additional layers of controls governing the use of its credit accounts and purchasing protocols.”

What a good idea!

The news media confronted  DeMarco as she arrived for work at a Babson College administrator, and let’s have a shout-out for Babson, which hired an ex-university administrator who had left her previous job while a criminal investigation of her conduct was underway!

“It was a big job and I made mistakes,” DeMarco told Boston’s WBZ. “I never intended to harm the university. I’m very sorry and will do everything in my power to rectify the situation.”

What a terrific example of a statement by someone who couldn’t spell “ethics” if you spotted her “eth”!

“It was a big job.”  Right off the bat, a ridiculous excuse.  Meg, the remedies for being overwhelmed in a big job are 1) work harder 2) resign before you do real harm 3) get help.

“Start embezzling and buying sex toys” isn’t on the list.

“I made mistakes.” Wait, you accidentally bought all the stuff from Amazon? Would you be calling these crimes “mistakes” if you hadn’t been caught? My guess is that you’d still be stealing from the disabled students. You see, crimes are not mistakes unless you didn’t mean to commit them, or you somehow grew to adulthood without learning that crime is wrong—in which case YOU would have a disability.

“I never intended to harm the university.” No, you intended to profit from money that wasn’t yours, by taking it from special needs students, who you didn’t give a damn about.  But again, since you presumably know that when you steal from someone, they are harmed, all this statement means is that you didn’t consider or care about the necessary consequences of your conduct. It means, in essence, “I am an idiot.”

True, but not just an idiot. A really mean, selfish, greedy idiot.

“I’m very sorry”  “I’m very sorry I got caught.” There, I fixed that for you.

You’re welcome.

“….and will do everything in my power to rectify the situation.” Yes, because you have no choice.

On the Ethics Alarms Apology Scale, this is the bottom of the barrel:

#10. An insincere and dishonest apology designed to allow the wrongdoer to escape accountability cheaply, and to deceive his or her victims into forgiveness and trust, so they are vulnerable to future wrongdoing.

Saylors and DeMarco were arraigned in Cambridge District Court yesterday.

5 Comments

Filed under Character, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Law & Law Enforcement

5 responses to “Now THESE Are Unethical University Administrators…

  1. “DeMarco as she arrived for work at a Babson College administrator, and let’s have a shout-out for Babson, which hired an ex-university administrator who had left her previous job while a criminal investigation of her conduct was underway!”

    That’s not… entirely… fair.

    My first job out of college was as an accountant at a retail that was still in the throes of a court battle because their previous office manager/accountant had embezzled approximately $250,000. Long story short, Debbie was tried and convicted of fraud, theft over $5000 and falsifying documents. The Crown was able to prove about half of the total amount, but we didn’t care much because our insurer had already paid us out, and the vindication was sweet. But this was only after more than five years of drawn out legal proceedings, drawn out purposefully, by Debbie… She changed lawyers about a half dozen times, made every step of the proceedings longer than they had to be, and asked for an amazing number of continuances.

    Most of which you probably don’t care about, but it’s a hell of a story if ever I meet you for a beer, what’s relevant is that during the proceedings, Debbie was not required to report a conviction, because she had not been convicted, if a CRC was run, current proceedings would not appear on it, and Canadian labour laws prevent employers from giving detailed reference checks. When we were called (And how ballsy do you have to be to put the employer you stole a quarter million dollars from as a reference.), HR could basically only confirm that the dates she had worked there were accurate to her CV… When asked “Would you hire her again?” A question which they COULD answer, they were delighted to say “No. Never. Not a chance.”, Hoping that would drive home the message. It didn’t, apparently, because despite that, Debbie was hired as an accountant by a local native organisation, which she immediately started embezzling from. She’s currently serving two two year sentences, and I admit to schadenfreude.

    My point though is that absent the conviction, it’s…. Hard…. for employers to weed out candidates like this, especially if they’re good at bullshittery. Not impossible, but genuinely hard.

  2. Her defense is that if was a big job and things got out of hand? She needs better advice. She should be saying that she acquired the laptops and other electronic educational devices for the disabled students and kept them in her home waiting for the tech-guys to install the disability software but the tech-guys were really busy and hadn’t made it by yet. Plausible deniability, at its best.

    As for the . . . erm . . . sex toys, she should have said they were purchased for the law school’s criminal law classes as classroom aids to show students what to look for in forensic evidence. Yes. That would work. Or, better yet, they were acquired to assist disabled students handle the stress of law school.

    jvb

  3. Chris Marschner

    I hear the defense will be I had Trump dissociative disorder and if that doesn’t work the Russians made me do it.

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