Crime of the Century

Well, it’s taking extra effort to write about this week without sounding whiny or tedious, so I hope I can pull it off.  I don’t know where exactly to begin, so I’ll just sum up the highlights. 

Our beloved deputy director was placed on administrative leave this week, which is what happens to cops when they shoot someone.  Our Guy didn’t shoot anyone, but rather, 6 years ago he sold a piece of property for half it’s assessed value to an organization that needed to protect some land.  He used the money from the transaction to purchase and protect another large tract of land.  It is a tiny bit complicated, because the group that needed to by the land in the first place needed it due to permit requirements that our agency implements, although Our Guy had excused himself from any involvement in the project.  Seems pretty trumped up to me, and a convenient strategy to get him out of the way while the New Guy shuffles the deck, or probably more like swings a machete around. 

To revisit the school analogy, it would be like this:  a principal gets into the job because he believes in education, and cares deeply about children.  As a private side project, he set up a summer camp for kids.   On his own time, with his own money.  That’s what he does with his spare resources, because that’s what he cares about.  

So one day, a different camp over-booked for a session, so that three campers will have to be turned away.  They contact this particular principal and say, hey, if we donate the money, can these kids go to your camp?  And the principal says, sure, that would be great, and I’ll give you a half-price deal, in fact.  But those three kids go to my school, so I’m going to excuse myself from decisions about whether they pass their classes and everything else; I will leave that up to the qualified teachers and other professionals here to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest.  

It all works out, and the kids get to go to camp after all, and the principal has extra money that he uses to send even more kids to camp with, and six years later, someone complains.  That’s the crime we’re talking about. 

At any rate, he was much beloved, worked hard, and cared about what we do, so I wish him the very best.


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