Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Consulting on the Side: A Case Study

By Joan Cassman

Public Agency hires a new CEO who has developed a consulting business since her last CEO job. The business provides management services and leadership training to people in the same "industry" as Agency. During negotiations of the Employment Agreement, Candidate advises that she desires to maintain her consulting business and the Agency agrees to this so long as this business does not distract from her full time commitment to the Agency as its CEO and the consulting business does not perform any services for, nor enter into any contract with, the Agency. These conditions are clearly delineated in the Employment Agreement.

The new CEO calls the Agency attorney to advise that during FY 13-14, she plans to attend two management/leadership trainings that are each 2 days in length with the consulting business paying her $1,000/day and covering her travel and lodging expenses. One event takes place in-state and the other event takes place out-of-state. She will participate in facilitating the trainings at the conferences.

What advice should you give her?


Joan Cassman leads the government group and public agency section at the law firm Hanson Bridgett.

August 2013


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