Is “Double-Dipping” Unethical? How?

"Throw one scoop away, you greedy, unethical bastard!"

“Throw one scoop away, you greedy, unethical bastard!”

Over at Trust Across America, Barbara Kimmel has painted a scarlet “U” on the interim superintendent of the Mahwah School District, who has a $167,000 contract as well as an $131,000 annual pension. She finds the woman’s justification for her extravagant enrichment at taxpayer expense through the practice of “double-dipping,” unethical, and is rankled by the woman’s justification, when she says, “I think it’s the way the system is set up. Greater people than me made that decision, I took advantage of it. ”  This is the epitome of unethical reasoning, Kimmel writes:

“As the Commander in Chief of a school district you are responsible for the “culture of the corporation.” Just remember what you said the next time a student shows up in your office and uses the excuse that “everyone else was doing it,” or when one of your faculty members chooses to use all their days off, leaving a classroom full of kids with no teacher.  After all, it’s the way the system is set up. And the NJ taxpayers- apparently they don’t factor in to your ethical barometer at all. You just “took advantage of it (them).”

The executive director of Trust Across America also finds this to be the perfect example of conduct that is legal but not ethical. Is it? I’m dubious, and I’m not comfortable condemning the interim superintendent’s conduct or even her words, though she could have stated her situation a bit less smugly.

Exactly what is unethical here? Is it… Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gesslar

Less than a week after taking office, attorney Scott Gessler, Colorado’s newly elected  Secretary of State, announced that he plans to keep working part-time as an attorney for his law firm, the Hackstaff Law Group. In an interview with the Denver Business Journal, Gessler acknowledged that his plan to moonlight as a contract attorney raised ethical issues, but he needed the money.

Well that’s certainly an encouraging ethics orientation! Continue reading