Last month, I noted that the annual COGEL (Council on Governmental Ethics Laws) Conference took place in Chicago just as Blago-gate erupted.
Now, members of Blago’s staff are conducting ethics classes for state workers.
The Chicago Trib reports:
Only in Illinois?
As legislators weigh impeaching Gov. Rod Blagojevich and federal prosecutors prepare to indict him on corruption charges, his acting chief of staff and a deputy governor will be keynote speakers Wednesday at an “Ethics in the Workplace” seminar for some 200 state employees.
The governor’s acting chief of staff, Clayton Harris III, is new to his post; his predecessor, John Harris, was arrested the same day as the governor and resigned Dec. 12. Deputy Gov. Dean Martinez started his job a month ago.
An academic interviewed by the Trib doesn’t see teh funny in the ethically tainted teaching government workers how to stay clean:
“That’s a real tough question, but … I don’t see the irony really,” said Rev. Tim Fiala, executive director of University of Illinois at Chicago’s Integritas Institute, an ethics forum.
The commenters at the Trib site provide some needed schooling:
The author should have askked some questions and he would have found out the Mr. Harris, the charged former chief of staff, lead the round table discussion last year. Maybe the U of I professor would have been able to find the irony in that.
I’ve heard about these exams. Not only are they hilariously slanted toward wrongdoing by the George Ryan administration, they time you on the testing. If you finish too quickly in answering the questions, they make you take it over again to be sure you’re not cheating! Can’t wait to hear about this year’s questions. ie: Is it wrong to “talk” about taking money for a Senate seat if in fact, you didn’t take any?
Another case of “do what I say not what I do”. Maybe the professor can line up Scott Falwell, George Ryan and Blago for next year’s ethic symposium. They all could give tips on what they would do differently so they wouldn’t get CAUGHT! They could also talk about how to build a big slush fund so you could use it to defend against your eventual federal indictment.
(Hat tip: Marathon Pundit)