PAD 525 Week 9 Discussions Authority and Misconduct

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Week 9 Discussion 1

“Authority and Misconduct.” Please respond to the following: 

Despite widespread cynicism about public ethics, students are likely to agree that a rule of law depends on the perceived legitimacy of public officials and that legitimacy is impossible without widespread ethical behavior. Discuss with supporting example what can be done to cultivate ethical behavior in public officials. 

Take a position on whether or not behavior should be governed by compliance with rules. Support your position with examples or evidence. 

Despite widespread cynicism about public ethics, students are likely to agree that a rule of law depends on the perceived legitimacy of public officials and that legitimacy is impossible without widespread ethical behavior. Discuss with supporting example what can be done to cultivate ethical behavior in public officials.

Codes of ethics for public administrators recognize, first and foremost, that administrators are not just neutral implementers of policy. In fact, “filling in the details” of often vague legislation is often left to professional but unelected civil servants. As a result, the view held a century ago that bureaucrats simply carry out the details of policy in some kind of a value-free manner has been almost completely discredited. Almost everyone now recognizes that the cops on the beat, the teacher in the classroom and the doctor in a VA hospital have real power to make policy and therefore affect lives.

Moreover, there is recognition that high-profile cases of corruption and mismanagement can color public perceptions of the legitimacy and quality of government action. To that end, improving the ethical behavior of government employees is fundamental to the legitimacy of democratic governance.

“Promote the public interest by putting “service to the public above service to oneself.”

“Strengthen social equity” by treating “all persons with fairness, justice, equality and respect” and reducing “unfairness, injustice and inequality.”

“Demonstrate personal integrity” by adhering to “the highest standards of conduct to inspire public confidence and trust in public service.”

These efforts will not prevent all ethical breaches they might not even stop most of them. Given the stakes, however, anything that produces even a marginal improvement in ethical behavior seems clearly worth the effort.

Joyce, P. (2014, October 15). The Culture of Ethics That the Public Sector Needs. Retrieved November 28, 2016, from http://www.governing.com/columns/smart-mgmt/col-culture-ethics-public-sector-needs.html

Take a position on whether or not behavior should be governed by compliance with rules. Support your position with examples or evidence.

Managing the employees in your workplace effectively necessitates that even the smallest of businesses set up work rules. Work rules protect your business and your workers and if correctly implemented and executed, create and maintain a better work environment for all.

Having formal work rules in your business, even if they’re not required, is a good idea because they can help you protect your business from litigation and maintain a high quality of work life for your employees. You need to make sure that your employees understand what is expected of them, not only in the work that they do, but in their behavior and in other areas of your employment relationship. If the rules are carefully selected, clearly related to the business, and fairly enforced, they can help you to better manage your workplace and your workers.

If you have a very small number of employees, however, you may want to avoid having any work rules other than those required by law. Why? Having no work rules about a given activity will give you more freedom to handle each situation on the basis of its own particular circumstances. If you have very few employees, generally the circumstances of each situation will be sufficiently different that discriminatory treatment or wrongful discharge will not be an issue. Only you can be the judge of which way to go on this issue.

Workplace Rules Protect Your Business and Maintain a Positive Employee Environment. (2012, May 24). Retrieved November 28, 2016, from http://www.bizfilings.com/toolkit/sbg/office-hr/managing-the-workplace/workplace-rules.aspx

Week 9 Discussion 2

COLLAPSE

Top of Form

“Public Ethics Laws.” Please respond to the following: 

After reading the case summary, People v. Howard, if you were an Illinois state legislator, would you support a bill in response to People v. Howard that provides that only conduct specifically prescribed by a state statute may be a predicate offense for official misconduct? Why or why not? 

Evaluate Van Itallie v. Franklin Lakes. Based on the facts described in Van Itallie v. Franklin Lakes, take a position and explain what you would have done differently, if anything, if you were the council members.

Bottom of Form

  •  After reading the case summary, People v. Howard, if you were an Illinois state legislator, would you support a bill in response to People v. Howard that provides that only conduct specifically prescribed by a state statute may be a predicate offense for official misconduct? Why or why not?
  • A person commits the crime of pattern of official misconduct if he or she commits two or more acts that violate the provisions it shall not be a defense that the violations were not part of a common plan or scheme, or did not have similar methods of commission. Pattern of official misconduct is a crime of the second degree if one of the acts committed by the defendant is a first or second degree crime; otherwise, it is a crime of the third degree, provided, however, that the presumption of no imprisonment set forth in subsection for persons who have not previously been convicted of an offense shall not apply.
  • Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, a conviction of pattern of official misconduct shall not merge with a conviction of official misconduct, official deprivation of civil rights, or any other criminal offense, nor shall such other conviction merge with a conviction under this section, and the court shall impose separate sentences upon each violation. A public servant is guilty of official misconduct when, with purpose to obtain a benefit for himself or another or to injure or to deprive another of a benefit:
  • a. He or she commits an act relating to his office but constituting an unauthorized exercise of his official functions, knowing that such act is unauthorized or he is committing such act in an unauthorized manner; or
  • b. He or she knowingly refrains from performing a duty which is imposed upon him by law or is clearly inherent in the nature of his office. Official misconduct is a crime of the second degree. If the benefit obtained or sought to be obtained, or of which another is deprived or sought to be deprived, is of a value of $ 200.00 or less, the offense of official misconduct is a crime of the third degree.
  • Official Misconduct. (2011). Retrieved November 28, 2016, from https://whitecollarcrimenews.com/statutes/official-misconduct/
  •  Evaluate Van Itallie v. Franklin Lakes.Based on the facts described in Van Itallie v. Franklin Lakes, take a position and explain what you would have done differently, if anything, if you were the council members.
  • Plaintiff, a taxpayer, filed a complaint in lieu of prerogative writ in the Superior Court, Law Division, challenging the validity of two ordinances of the Borough of Franklin Lakes, principally on the ground that a conflict of interest existed on the part of two of the borough councilmen, Birrer and Bender. Ordinance 139 regulates the location and establishment of cemeteries within the municipal boundaries and Ordinance 140 is a general amendment to the borough zoning ordinance. At the close of plaintiff’s case the trial court granted defendant’s motion for a judgment of involuntary dismissal. While plaintiff’s appeal was pending in the Appellate Division we certified the cause on our own motion.
  • It is obvious that provision must be made for changing the regulations as conditions change or new conditions arise. Otherwise zoning would be a “strait-jacket” and a detriment to a community instead of an asset.
  • Whatever technique is used, processing amendments takes time. The city facing an unusual number of requests for amendments should try to find out why. If the ordinance is sufficiently flexible and up to date, the best course seems to be to hire more staff if necessary and bear in mind the conclusions suggested by some respondents to the questionnaire
  • I still feel, rightly or wrongly, that strict attention to some of the mundane and hackneyed proverbs of sound zoning, and sticking by your zoning plan once it is adopted, is the best answer to amendments. Nothing succeeds like success, and once a community starts being lax about zoning amendments it simply encourages more zoning amendments.
  • Although processing applications for an amendment is time consuming and burdensome, it is a necessary burden democratic incident to government.
  • Amending the Zoning Ordinance. (2016). Retrieved November 28, 2016, from https://www.planning.org/pas/reports/report115.ht



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