TO DISPEL CLOUDS OF CORRUPTION OVER LOCAL GOVERNMENT
PR FIRM SAYS PUBLIC OFFICIALS SHOULD ATTEND ‘ ETHICS COLLEGE’ OR MAYBE ‘ETHICS REHAB’
In the wake of the fifth local elected official to resign under a corruption cloud since 2006, a Palm Beach County PR firm that specializes in crisis management, is calling for all public officials to attend “Ethics College” or in some cases, “Ethics Rehab.”
“The best way to avoid the crisis in confidence sweeping over local and Federal government is to teach and then remind public officials to operate within a moral framework,” said a PR CEO Tom Madden. The firm is urging local universities to establish courses in ethics for public officials.
“To do right, first you have to know what’s right and wrong and then practice operating ethically,” he said. Just like lawyers and real estate agents, public officials need to take refresher courses in ethics. When they stumble, they should enter an “ethics rehab.” Madden’s most recent article on training executives how to conduct themselves was just published in PR News Media Training Guidebook, Volume 2 by PR News.
Requiring officials to take an ethics pledge is a step in the right direction, he said, referring to a pledge drafted by Leadership Palm Beach County members after four elected official were indicted in three years.
Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty is the latest figure to resign amid corruption charges, for allegedly failing to recuse herself from votes that benefited her husband.
“We believe a more effective way of changing the culture of corruption running through local, state and Federal government would be to establish an Ethics College, where public officials take a required course in ethics, followed by periodic refresher courses,” he said. Ethics offenders should be required to enter an “Ethics Rehab” facility.
Believing these courses could be taken online as well at area universities, the PR firm has registered the domains, www.ethicscollege.com, www.ethicsrehab.com, www.moralcollege.com and www.moralteaching.com, which it is offering to give to any institution of learning that would develop an appropriate ethics curriculum for public officials, particularly those regulating the banking industry, whose ethical shortcomings have caused widespread economic hardship.
“As a PR firm accustomed to dealing with thorny crisis management issues affecting corporations, we advocate that executives practice responding to situations in a way that won’t devalue their most precious asset—integrity.”