conflicts of interest

UNC's interim President in hot water over conflicts of interest

You can't serve five masters:

William Roper, the current interim president of the University of North Carolina system and former longtime CEO of the UNC Health Care System, failed to disclose his seats on the boards of major corporations between 2011 and 2019, at the same time as those corporations did business with the state, records show.

None of his corporate board service was disclosed on state ethics forms until last week, when Roper filed amended forms in response to an inquiry from WBTV for this story.

James and I discussed some of these issues on our radio program nine years ago, and finding these potentially unethical connections (or overlaps) is not always easy. Google searches often drill down into corporate press releases, but the names of board members rarely show up in those broad searches. By the same token, when searching an individual, you may not see their corporate affiliation until you get to page 7 of the search. And you can forget LinkedIn, because that is almost exclusively information provided by the member, and if he/she doesn't want a connection to be made, well. Anyway, back to this story, and the dueling salaries involved:

Trump White House: A culture of unethical behavior

It doesn't take a year to fill out financial disclosure forms:

A year into Donald Trump’s presidency, records show five of his top staffers still have not secured final approval of their financial reports — disclosures that are required by law to ensure Americans that these senior officials aren’t personally benefiting from their White House jobs. Another four staffers received certification by the Office of Government Ethics after McClatchy first requested their forms last month.

The delay is likely due to Trump staffers either refusing to disclose mandated information to OGE, failing to resolve a conflict of interest or violating an ethics law or regulation, according to two ethics experts familiar with the long-standing process.

If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, personally profits from government actions it helps facilitate like a duck, it's probably a corrupt duck. While a U.S. President (is supposed to) provide a leadership example for the rest of the world, he (or she) also provides an example to Cabinet and staff. And apparently Trump's example is, "We are above the law, and we can do whatever the hell we want." Here are a few of the more questionable violators:

Charlotte police declare open season on shooting suspects

When your lawyer and the DA are friends, it's all good:

Even though Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Anthony Holzhauer was represented by the same law firm, Murray did not recuse himself. He ruled this month that Holzhauer was justified when he shot and killed 20-year-old Janisha Fonville in her north Charlotte apartment. The decision meant Holzhauer will not face criminal charges.

Legal scholars contacted by the Observer said Murray’s ties to his former firm pose the appearance of a conflict of interest and that Murray should have removed himself from the Fonville case.

Heck, at least in Ferguson there was a Grand Jury, even if it did work to convict the victim posthumously. In this situation, one man gets to decide not to prosecute a client of the firm that funded his election campaign. In the excerpt below, there are two gaping inconsistencies that reveal Murray's poor judgment. See if you can spot them, the answer will be in the comment section:

Was McCrory's Tree.com compensation (much) larger than we thought?

It's possible there was more fruit on the Tree than we were led to believe:

Insider/Relation/Last Date/Transaction Type/OwnerType/Shares Traded/Last Price/Shares Held

MCCRORY PATRICK LLOYD Director 01/30/2013 Option Execute direct 10,063 0.0000 31,672

I don't know what it was worth then, but the stock is trading for just over $43 now, making that January 2013 option worth some $432, 709. And if that last (Shares Held) means what I think it does, that comes to $1.3 million and some change that McCrory is still(?) holding. I will freely admit, Fridays are bad days for me and my math, so please check behind me.

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