Leroy Fick (left); unidentified gropee, (right); Mayor Fick (far right)
“Fick” is a term of art on Ethics Alarms, describing the rare unethical miscreant who is not only engaged in misconduct but perfectly happy to profit from it in full view of the public eye, apparently without shame. The appellation is named after the despicable Leroy Fick, a Michigan lottery winning millionaire who exploited a loophole to keep getting public assistance. Ficks are the worst of the worst.
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is a fick.
As the number of women who have accused him of groping, head-locking, kissing or otherwise sexually harassing them climbed beyond 18, Filner adamantly refused to do the right thing and resign (call me crazy, but I think even Bill Clinton would have had the decency to resign if a new Monica surfaced every other day for a month), even as other allegations of his misdeeds in the financial realm were being investigated. Knowing the recall effort rapidly gathering steam would cost the city many thousands of dollars, and understanding that San Diego was being humiliated as well as being barely governed while Mayor Fick, er, Filner, held it hostage, the city council has negotiated an exit by Filner, one that requires the city to pick up his legal tab, as well as the damages or settlements he would otherwise pay in any law suits against him arising out of his various incidents of harassment. Continue reading
The Rick Curl case is the ethics alarm that won’t stop ringing.
Could Joe be the rule rather than the exception?
I’ve written about it twice, both times focusing on the devil’s deal made by the victim and her family, who allowed Curl, a renowned D.D. area swimming coach, to get away with sexually molesting a 13-year female swimmer under his supervision and escape either official detection or legal punishment for decades, as the victim’s family decided to accept $150,000 in hush money/ extortion/ settlement from the rapist-coach instead. Curl went on his happy coaching, and maybe child-molesting way—we don’t know if there were other victims or other pay-offs—even to the Olympics, until the girl he molested, Kelley Currin, had a belated attack of conscience at 40 and finally told authorities about what a trusted coach in close contact with girls on a daily basis had done to her, leading to Curl’s arrest last year.
Rick Curl was sentenced to seven years in prison for child sexual abuse at a hearing this week. At that hearing, we learned for the first time that the University of Maryland had been informed about the abuse more than 25 years ago, and probably knew about it before that. Continue reading
I hope it was worth the cash, Kelley.
All in all, you would have to say that renowned Maryland swimming coach Rick Curl made a pretty sweet deal for himself. True, he’s headed to jail now, after pleading guilty to charges of child sexual abuse as a result of the testimony of Kelley Currin. Currin, now 41, was a former swimmer coached by Curl, and was molested and ultimately raped by him over six years beginning when she was only 13. But Curl paid Kelley’s parents, Gerald and Pamela Davies, $150,000 to keep his secret from police, the community, and the swim team (the Davies had read about his abuse in their daughter’s journal and confronted him) in 1989. Kelley, who was 19 when her family got paid off, waited until last year to finally alert authorities, so Curl kept his freedom, reputation, and most important of all, his opportunity to be trusted with the yummy, young, nubile daughters of other, unsuspecting parents, for a bargain yearly rate of only $6,250.
Not bad! Not bad at all. Continue reading
” Ah, what a beauty! $150,000 well spent!”
Imagine, if you will, that the late Joe Paterno didn’t take action to expose the child-molesting proclivities of his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, not because he was concerned about his cherished football program’s image, but because Sandusky paid him off with a big check. Can we all agree that this would have been even more reprehensible than what actually occurred? I assume so. Paterno would have been enriching himself with the sacrifice of young innocents to a pedophile.
Now compare that hypothetical with what we know about the developing scandal around renowned swimming coach Rick Curl, who has trained Olympian swimmers for decades. took a leave of absence from the club he founded Wednesday in the wake of accusations that he engaged in a sexual relationship with a teen swimmer and then paid her and her parents to keep quiet as part of a settlement. Continue reading