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DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


February 5, 2014

Extramarital Affairs in Government & Business

Patrick W. Allen

Some elected officials and government employees who engage in extramarital affairs do not believe their personal relationships should have any bearing on their employment, even if that relationship is of a sexual nature with someone other than his or her spouse. However, a consensual extramarital affair can ruin his or her career.

 

A municipal, county, state or federal entity may discipline an employee who engages or has engaged in consensual adulterous behavior for conduct unbecoming by the employee. Suspension is the typical punishment for such misconduct, but removal may be justifiable under certain circumstances.

 

Commercial Sector: Employee – Employee. When an employee’s extramarital affair involves someone in the organizational hierarchy who performs either a supervisory or subordinate role to the employee, this inevitably turns into a sticky-wicket with no winners. The awkwardness of superior-subordinate relationships eventually results in distrust between and among fellow employees as well as a demoralized workforce.

 

If both participants in the relationship are single, the Human Relations (HR) people have a less complex problem to deal with. However, when one or both participants are currently married and not to one another, the problem not only becomes more complex, but introduces legal statutes regarding adultery.

 

Military Sector: Rank Doesn’t Always Have Privilege. America’s armed forces have a strict code of conduct regarding relationships and recreational affairs with subordinates. As defined in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), fraternization between and among the ranks, especially extramarital affairs and relationships is a definite no-no…which in many cases has destroyed careers and ended in court-martial prosecutions.

 

The scandal which surrounded former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director and former golden-boy general, David Petraeus, and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, highlights the threats extramarital affairs can pose to serving military members as well as those who leave the military and accept appointment to critical federal positions.

 

Adultery is the kiss of death for federal employees with security clearances; it is very hard to prove to Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) administrative judge that an employee who engaged in adulterous conduct does not pose a threat to national security given the individuals’ susceptibility to coercion related to the affair.

 

Even with such a strict code of conduct, the military is awash in unethical and adulterous relationships.

 

Public Sector: Elected Official – Employee. We shouldn’t be too surprised to learn that the public sector, where ethics are often times disregarded and/or dismantled by those who have been elected and expected to hold themselves to a high standard of trust, is as awash with extramarital misconduct as the military.

 

When publicly elected officials engage in extramarital relations with a municipal, county or state employee, they have simply crossed the line of trustworthiness and ethics.

 

Frederick, Maryland, didn’t invent corruption, but the county’s long history of looking the other way may be coming to an end. To demonstrate how a public official’s over-the-top denial of wrongdoing is actually an effort to obfuscate the facts, consider the New Jersey case where the elected chief executive was engaged in an affair with the financial manager…and that was only the tip of the iceberg.

 

January 2004: Ronald Corn, Mayor of Hainesport, embezzled more than $339,000 from public accounts to pay for golf outings, parties, meals and expenses in cahoots with the township finance director, Kristine Wisnewski.

 

Additional untoward conduct by politically elected officials includes:

 

January 2004: Former Essex County Executive James Treffinger served a 130-month prison term after admitting that he used county funds to pay Republican campaign workers and obstructing a federal probe into his campaign finances.

 

July 2009: Prosecutors allege assemblyman and former Perth Amboy Mayor Joseph Vas engaged in a scheme with a political adviser to funnel money through people who were given funds to make contributions. Vas was already accused of using his political influence to further a real estate deal that netted him nearly $300,000.

 

So, it’s not an anomaly for politically elected officials to use their office to influence business deals and redirect their political and campaign finances to facilitate political activities against their opponents outside of public view…or so they think.

 

When allegations of extramarital misconduct first surfaced here, the allegations were vehemently denied, accusing the messenger(s) of conducting a political smear campaign. That was good enough to convince the county’s Ethics Commission to wiggle out of performing its sworn duties to the citizens and conducting a complete and comprehensive investigation.

 

It is important for the citizens of Frederick County to understand that the denials, post initial Ethics Commission ruling, are intended to construct a timeline that the accused wants you to believe, but not the timeline that actually exists.

 

Frederick, Maryland, needs to step up to the plate, realize that there is a significant problem that needs to be investigated and dealt with…then move on to a brighter future for the county and its citizens.

 

Sources and References…

The Most Politically Corrupt Place on Earth: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Jersey-The-Most-Politically-Corrupt-Place-on-Earth.html

 

patrickwilliamallen@comcast.net

 



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