Looks Like Menendez Will Walk: Jurors Can’t Bring Themselves to Convict

The creep factor has been out and about as often as Harvey Weinstein is in and out of whatever Arizona rehab facility banishes him for cell phone use as he seeks to recover from his addiction to starlets. Oddly missing from the news is coverage of the corruption trial of the senior Senator from New Jersey. The evidence in the trial of Robert Menendez reads like a Russian dossier. Senator Menendez was BFF with a wacky doctor who got involved in about $100 million in questionable Medicare billing. The two had good times together, sometimes with various forms of entertainment involved. And the doc made 6-figure donations to the senator.

But, the jury did not see things as criminal. Or some portion of them did not. Absent an evidentiary e-mail that read, “Say, Bob, how about I give you $700,000 to get these regulators off my back?” Without that level of proof, the jury saw no quids in the quos. Patterns, amounts, and frat-boy behavior did not tip the scales. The Barometer blames CSI, Law & Order viewing. Those prosecutors come up with tangible evidence so that there is no possibility of reasonable doubt. Absent the smoking gun, jurors will not employ the tools of logic and deduction. Prosecutors are on their own because jurors will not think through the complexities of timing on gifts, donations, and good times. Once again, elected officials who engage in unseemly behavior declare the most bizarre of victories – not being convicted. Could the bar be any lower for the behavioral standards of our elected officials?

About mmjdiary

Professor Marianne Jennings is an emeritus professor of legal and ethical studies from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, retiring in 2011 after 35 years of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics and the legal environment of business. During her tenure at ASU, she served as director of the Joan and David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics from 1995-1999. In 2006, she was appointed faculty director for the W.P. Carey Executive MBA Program. She has done consulting work for businesses and professional groups including AICPA, Boeing, Dial Corporation, Edward Jones, Mattel, Motorola, CFA Institute, Southern California Edison, the Institute of Internal Auditors, AIMR, DuPont, AES, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motorola, Hy-Vee Foods, IBM, Bell Helicopter, Amgen, Raytheon, and VIAD.

The sixth edition of her textbook, Case Studies in Business Ethics, was published in February 2011. The ninth edition of her textbook, Business: lts Legal, Ethical and Global Environment was published in January 2011. The 23rd edition of her book, Business Law: Principles and Cases, will be published in January 2013. The tenth edition of her book, Real Estate Law, will also be published in January 2013. Her book, A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success, and a Very Large Rabbit, a fable about business ethics, was chosen by Library Journal in 2004 as its business book of the year. A Business Tale was also a finalist for two other literary awards for 2004. In 2000 her book on corporate governance was published by the New York Times MBA Pocket Series. Her book on long-term success, Building a Business Through Good Times and Bad: Lessons from Fifteen Companies, Each With a Century of Dividends, was published in October 2002 and has been used by Booz, Allen, Hamilton for its work on business longevity. Her latest book, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse was published by St. Martin’s Press in July 2006 and has been a finalist for two book awards.

Her weekly columns are syndicated around the country, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Reader’s Digest. A collection of her essays, Nobody Fixes Real Carrot Sticks Anymore, first published in 1994 is still being published. She has been a commentator on business issues on All Things Considered for National Public Radio.

She has served on four boards of directors, including Arizona Public Service (1987-2000), Zealous Capital Corporation, and the Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability at the University of Minnesota. She was appointed to the board of advisors for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators in 2004 and served on the board of trustees for Think Arizona, a public policy think tank. She has appeared on CNBC, CBS This Morning, the Today Show, and CBS Evening News.

In 2010 she was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Business Ethics by Trust Across America. Her books have been translated into four different languages. She received the British Emerald award for authoring one of their top 50 articles in management publications, chosen from over 15,000 articles.

Personal: Married since 1976 to Terry H. Jennings, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Deputy County Attorney; five children: Sarah, Sam, and John, and the late Claire and Hannah Jennings.

This entry was posted in News and Events. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *