The Ethical Barometer

News & Events

Miss Pennsylvania U.S. International Charged with Theft By Deception

Brandi Weaver-Gates was charged with theft for allegedly setting up an online fundraising scheme to raise money for her cancer treatment. The alleged scheme was elaborate. Ms. Weaver-Gates shaved her head and had her family sit in a hospital waiting area while she was undergoing treatment. But, when police investigated she could not name physicians and no hospital had a record of her having been treated. She raised $14,000, but lost her title.

Two Attorneys General Indicted in the Same Week — Mercy!

Well, as Sheriff Andy Taylor used to say, “Don’t that beat all?” The attorneys general for the states of Pennsylvania and Texas were indicted this week. Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane was indicted for leaking grand-jury (think confidential) information to political operatives in order to embarrass state prosecutors with whom she had bad blood. She then, allegedly, engaged in behaviors, including lying, to cover up the leaks. She is charged with obstruction, perjury, false swearing, conspiracy . . . . Meanwhile, deep in the heart of Texas, Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General was indicted for securities fraud. The issues of potential securities fraud had trickled out during his campaign and now they are headlines in Texas.

Both deny the charges. Lanny Davis, of Clinton defense fame, issued a statement indicating that his client, Ms. Kane, has done nothing wrong. Ms. Kane has indicated (more…)

Classic Quotes

What is a fiduciary?

While the SEC and Department of Labor and numerous professional groups and businesses struggle to determine who is a fiduciary and/or when they must be a fiduciary, a Personal Capital Survey (USA Today, August 11, 2015, p. 1B) found the following: 56% responded that a fiduciary rule is “an obligation not to rip off people.” Well said.

“one of the ways we fool ourselves is to think that by staying where we are, we’re safe. It’s foolish to think malaria is more harmful than materialism. We are choosing which risks to take.”

Dr. Kent Brantly, a missionary physician who contracted Ebola while serving in Liberia, and survived through the administration of an experimental drug. Dr. Brantly expects that he will serve again as a missionary doctor, fully understanding the risks in all aspects of his life.

Ethical Dilemmas

“Get Yourself Fired — You’ll Make More Money!”

The Barometer was strolling through the home section of a major department store.  Tempted by  Christmas potholders at 50% off, the Barometer stopped and soon planted feet firm to continue listening as three employees of this fine establishment conversed about their futures.  The ring leader was explaining to the novice employees that after the new year begins, most of them would be going to part-time status because of slow sales, the economy, health care issues, etc.  The two employees seemed crestfallen.  But, their mentor would have none of it.  “Don’t do it!” said he.  “Get yourself fired because the money you make on unemployment will be better than part-time work here and you can get 99 weeks of unemployment.  Plus, you are eligible for medical care through the government because you are unemployed.  It’s a better deal. It is so not worth it to keep working.” This fine consigliore (more…)

Returning Slightly Used Shoes

Even the well seasoned Dillard’s manager was taken aback by this one. A customer brought in a pair of moderately expensive dress shoes, expressing a desire to return them because they just weren’t quite right. As the manager processed the order she checked inside the box to be sure that the shoes in the box were the shoes the matched the box – past experience dictated that follow-up on returns. The shoes were the correct ones for the box, but the customer had another issue. The shoes had masking tape on the bottom – masking tape that was dirty. When the manager returned to the customer (more…)

Trust Across America - Top 100 Thought Leaders Ethisphere - 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics

Featured Books by Marianne Jennings

Business Ethics: Case Studies and Selected Readings, 8th Edition

Business Ethics: Case Studies and Selected Readings, 8th Edition

Available 1/31/2014 at cengage.com
Somewhere Between Ezekiel & Miss Havisham - 365 Days At The Cemetery

Somewhere Between Ezekiel & Miss Havisham - 365 Days At The Cemetery

Available Now at Amazon.com
The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse

Never trust the people you cheat with. They will throw you under the bus.

A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success

Meet Edgar P. Benchley. Charitable people tend to call him a nerd. Others use less subtle descriptions. If you hear Edgar chatting to himself, don't be alarmed. He has an invisible friend who's kind of a cousin to Harvey from the old movie of the same name with Jimmy Stewart.

Anderson's Business Law and the Legal Environment, Standard Volume, 22nd Edition

Anderson’s Business Law and the Legal Environment, Standard Volume, 22nd Edition

Available Now at cengage.com
Anderson's Business Law and the Legal Environment, Comprehensive Volume, 22nd Edition

Anderson’s Business Law and the Legal Environment, Comprehensive Volume, 22nd Edition

Available Now at cengage.com
Real Estate Law, 10th Edition

Real Estate Law, 10th Edition

Available Now at cengage.com