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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Tip of the iceberg

Here's an interesting story about one of the sterling civil servants in the Oregon Corrections Department. All part of the squeaky clean government we have here in the Beaver State.

Now, don't forget, Michael Francke was killed by a street punk who was prowling his car. That stuff he said right before he died about blowing the whistle on corruption had nothing to do with it.


Comments (11)

I always wonder why the state only requires judges, DA's, elected officials, and certain citizen boards to annually file a statement of economic interest. It would seem a no-brainer that purchasing managers would have tremendous tempation to abuse in this fashion, and the public certainly deserves to know this information.

Not that they would have been truthful about it, of course. It just makes it easier to make charges stick.

And think about the billions of dollars that are spent by all the various governments at the state, county, Metro, Tri-Met, port authority, city, school board, public university, etc. levels. You don't think there's stealing going on? Come on. It's human nature.

'It's human nature.'

I was just thinking how applicable this is to your other post today, about the NFL.

Both groups need to make their operations a little less obvious.

From the linked article:

"The food purchasing manager for the state Department of Corrections is under investigation for allegedly accepting an estimated $650,000 in kickbacks from a California food wholesaler over the past four years, according to a search warrant affidavit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Eugene.

"No charges have been filed against Farhad 'Fred' Monem or his wife, Karen Monem."

The logic of your commentary seems to be as follows:

Being investigated IMPLIES guilty IMPLIES this case is linked to a murder that occurred 15+ years ago.

Really fascinating logic. Am I correct that you're a lawyer? I guess this is a great example of the way that some lawyers like to take rampant speculation and try to pass it off as legitimate by relabeling it a "legal theory".

Jack Bog: And think about the billions of dollars that are spent by all the various governments .... you don't think there's stealing going on?

I didn't say there wasn't any going on by any officials required to file an SEI. I simply said that the public deserves to know this information.

Can't we just assume that there is rampant corruption but also note that it is inefficient to remedy it all in the criminal context and acknowledge that it is also too problematic to assign blame when we can't even trust the person charged with assigning blame? How about we have periodic elections instead? John Kenneth Galbraith noted in the context of business, when the economy slows down there is less corruption. I would just insist on prohibiting one set of corrupt folks from forcing their replacement corrupt elected folks to continue their own present corruption by way of things like uncollateralized bonds (and where future taxation , or enterprise revenue, is definitively excluded from consideration as collateral). It is literally impossible for any public body to go bankrupt if the only issue is how they spend tax money that is presently at their disposal.

This particular individual is allegedly guilty of not being wise to the vast array of other corrupt, but presently legal, paths toward personal riches. (The present state definition of official misconduct remarkably still includes a reference to public action to benefit another.)

I would IMPLY corruption in any judicial presumption of the lack of corruption in any government action; as it is incompatible with the notion of consent of the governed and the ever present inquiry into the scope of that consent. You could call me a modern heretic; and proud of it.

Being investigated IMPLIES guilty IMPLIES this case is linked to a murder that occurred 15+ years ago.

Maybe that's how your mind works, but I didn't say or imply anything of the kind. The person currently under investigation may or may not have committed any crimes.

But there is more official corruption in Oregon government than people around here would like to admit. And official corruption, not a car burglary, is what killed Michael Francke.

I recently rewatched The Shawshank Redemption. Near the end, when the Tim Robbins character goes to into a bank to withdraw the funds of the fictious entity he had created and asks a teller to put a package of documents proving prison corruption in the afternoon's mail, I couldn't help thinking that, if that were Oregon, the investigators/press receiving the package would go into cover up mode and we'd never get the story.

On the other hand the last time I looked there was only one State with fewer prosecutions of public officials than Oregon. That was Nebraska. That means that politicians & officials here are either very honest or very good at getting away with things. Either way it's great they are good at something. :-)

Greg C

The Oregon couple accused of receiving the kickbacks are indeed innocent until proven guilty...however, the story also provides information that the search of their home uncovered a large amount of drugs and cash.
It would seem they were using their illicit gains to increase their income by drug dealing as well as kickbacks. Again, innocent until proven guilty...but no one can argue that possession of that amount of drugs was "legally" in their possession.

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