The Folks in Pittsburgh Must be Proud — $400 of $100,000 Returned

The back doors of a courier van carrying $100,000 flung open whilst said van was traveling along the highways of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on November 30, 2011. Those bags of cash, along with $20- and $50-dollar bills floating in the air, made their way into the hands, cars, and trucks of passing motorists. When all was said and done, the drivers of the courier van had $400 to show for their day’s work. The remaining money had been taken by the good folk of Pittsburgh who must have assumed that it was some new kind of state lottery. The Barometer really does want to assume the best about the folks of her home state.

However, that good faith is dissipated when the police excuse the conduct. Lt. James Englert offered this defense, “There were $20 bills, $50 bills just swirling in the air. I think there was a great deal of confusion. It’s only understandable that people would just start picking up the money.”
There is a slight degree of difference between “just picking up the money” to help and “picking up the money and getting in your car and driving away.” This was not their money. Drop it off at the nearest police station to a lieutenant other than Englert. Said lieutenant can use crackerjack police investigation tools to put together your cash find on route 19 with the courier van losses on said route.

When the answer is so easy – it’s not your money – why do so many reach the opposite conclusion? Pittsburgh media outlets are pleading for the return of the money. That money is long gone, easy come, easy go being what it is.

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.
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