Blagojevich Ethical Violations

Topics: Rod Blagojevich, Ethics, Pat Quinn Pages: 11 (4390 words) Published: June 18, 2013
Rod Blagojevich
Criminal and Ethics Violations

By Ora Major

Introduction
Rod Blagojevich (Blago) persuaded a path of unethical behavior and misconduct that caused national media attention and an indictment on multiple counts and seat as the Governor of Illinois. Blagojevich was involved in a large scheme to rob the people of Illinois of honest and transparent government. A federal grand jury handed down a 19-count indictment that included 16 felonious or felony counts that included racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud, extortion conspiracy, attempted extortion and making inaccurate, deceitful and fictitious statements to federal agents and the government. Among Blagojevich most notable or notorious actions, was his conspiracy to sell or auction off the attractive vacated senate seat of former senator Barack Obama, to the highest bidder. He presumed he could get away with it because of his flawed personal and profession ethical reasoning. He used his office in numerous matters/ways involving state appointments, business, legislative and pension fund investments all with the intent to hunt for or acquire benefits, advantages or achieve financial, monetary gain, campaign contributions, and employment for himself and others, in exchange for official actions, together with making an attempt to leverage his authority to appoint a U.S. Senator. He might have gotten away with it if not for his own selfish arrogance professional and unethical personal code of conduct, which in his flawed thinking had him above reproach in his role of Governor of Illinois. However, as he would soon find out, like his former predecessor, that the role of Governor in the State of Illinois should not be taken for granted, overlooked or misused. This can and does cause all those who would and all those who would choose to follow or neglect to do the right thing or follow basic ethical behavior while acting as a publicly elected official in the state of Illinois. By choosing to violate his oath of office and professional code of ethics, he added to a well-defined stamp of corruption in Illinois and Chicago politics that has left a now indelible legacy of corruption in the Governor’s office of Illinois. Violation of Public Trust

The number one alleged breach of ethical conduct or behavior, on the part of Blagojevich, was violation of the public trust. Pursuant to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations - Basic Obligations of Public Service (Title 5), “Public service is a public trust. Each employee has a responsibility to the United States Government and its citizens to place loyalty to the Constitution, laws and ethical principles above private gain. To ensure that every citizen can have complete confidence in the integrity of the Federal Government, each employee shall respect and adhere to the principles of ethical conduct set forth in this section, as well as the implementing standards contained in this part and in supplemental agency regulations.” (Justia, 2011). Additionally, according to the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act (IGEA), “No legislator may engage in other conduct which is unbecoming to a legislator or which constitutes a breach of public trust.” (IGEA, 2009) A breach of public trust arises when there is a breach in trust or abuse by a public official from a position of power or authority (local, state or federal) with government/public or private sector coconspirators. Any time a public official violates federal laws by asking for, demanding, soliciting, accepting or agreeing to receiving anything of value in return for being personally compensated outside or influenced in the performance of or outside their official duties they are guilty of corruption and therefore guilty of violating the public trust (Cornell, 2012). Philosophically, public officials do not have ownership of their positions. Ultimately, public servants must answer to the taxpayers or to the people that elected them. Whether or not they are hired...

References: Basic obligation of public service. ( 2011). Justia U.S. Law. Retrieved from http://law.justia.com/cfr/title05/5-3.0.10.10.9.1.50.1.html
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Employee standards of conduct. (2013). U.S. Department of Government Ethics, Retrieved from http://www.oge.gov/Laws-and-Regulations/Employee-Standards-of-Conduct/Employee-Standards-of-Conduct/
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Illinois Governmental Ethics Act. (2009). Illinois Secretary of State. Retrieved from http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/ipub26.pdf
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Statutes. (2013). U.S. Department of Government Ethics. http://www.oge.gov/Laws-and-Regulations/Statutes/Statutes/
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Wisenberg, S. (2013). How to avoid going to jail under 18 U.S.C. Section 1001 for lying to government agents. Findlaw. Retrieved from http://corporate.findlaw.com/litigation-disputes/how-to-avoid-going-to-jail-under-18-u-s-c-section-1001-for-lying.html
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