Government Ethics

When a law partner poked his head into my office to give me the breaking news about Patrick Cannon, Charlotte’s newly-indicted mayor, my head told me that I should feel some degree of outrage, but my heart only felt sadness.

Like all of us, I watched the news unfold to learn what seemed to be

             In my last post I commented (again) on the obligation of governmental officials to use the powers we grant them for the public’s benefit and not their own.  But bloggers, I have discovered, have ethical obligations too, and it was for ethical reasons I decided I could not comment on a recent Court of Appeals

            I’ve written several posts in this space on the topic of governmental ethics and the often-shifting and occasionally fuzzy line separating personal interest from public good.  As I said in a previous post (Government Ethics (Redux)):

“From lowly Soil and Water Conservation District representatives to the President, men and women elevated to elected and

            When our elected officials take their clothes off in private its one thing.  But when they disrobe in public it’s entirely another, and I’m NOT talking about recently-resigned NY Congressman Chris Lee.  I’m talking about Chris Montgomery, Mayor of the Iredell County Town of Mooresville who recently used the town’s email system to send racy

Last winter I wrote a series of posts on ethics in government, one of which was about former Governor Mike Easley’s aide, Ruffin Poole.  Today, let’s talk about Mike.

             If you came to the party late, here’s the narrative.  Mike Easley was a young Brunswick County district attorney who made his name and reputation prosecuting

            I celebrate my 25th anniversary today, silently. And humbly. Twenty-five years of membership in the one profession that is needed for an ordered society to thrive under the deliberate laws of its duly-elected citizens. 

            In 25 years I have learned much, taught much, laughed much, and had moments of tears. I’ve made mistakes of

            Technology’s increasing control over our lives became absurdly comical last year when, for the first time in 52 years, I became obsessed with the length of my thumb nails, the only “tools” I had for pressing the keys on my new blackberry.

             But a day doesn’t pass when I’m not experiencing another new – and

            Like it or not, we live in a world where our most difficult decisions are subjective, debatable and ultimately inconclusive.


            These past few weeks I have reviewed and analyzed statutes that (supposedly) provide guidance as to when a board member is incapable of putting self-interest or the interest of someone close to them aside when