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Nepotism In The Least Likely Place

Monday, Aug. 6, 2012

If you can’t trust the U.S Justice Department (DOJ) to know the difference between right and wrong, whom can you trust?

The agency’s inspector general said, “high-level officials in the Justice Management Division, or DMJ, violated the federal nepotism statute for advocating for the appointment of their own relatives to positions in the Justice Department.” In one case, “two senior officials simultaneously attempted to assist each other’s relative in securing DOJ employment.”

Unfortunately, this most recent revelation is the third in the past eight years. Jobs included clerkships and internships, with salaries ranging from $27,000 to $40,000.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general states “this kind of behavior will not be tolerated, and the department must maintain a zero tolerance policy and swift and decisive action must be taken to deal with those involved in these activities.

Nepotism such as the type uncovered at the Justice Department is illegal. To learn more about why nepotism in government presents a serious ethical problem, visit the Ethic's Center website.

Discussion questions:

1. Helping a friend or family member find a summer or permanent job is commonplace in the sector. Why is the standard different in the public sector?

2. Should elected officials who assist in securing jobs for family members be required to disclose their actions?

3. Does an appointed municipal employee have an obligation to disclose that he or she was instrumental in hiring a family member?

Post your responses in the comment section of this blog.

Tags: nepotism

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