It is an unfortunate conjunction of money and power that seems to cause even the best intentioned people to make bad decisions and swap their moral values for monetary value.  Corruption is a problem at all levels of government from both parties.

In the national news there have been reports about Goldman Sachs Bank receiving preferential treatment from the U.S. Treasury.  It might have something to do with Tim Geitner (Secretary of the Treasury) being the former CEO of Goldman Sachs.   This is the kind of thing a jaded public has come to expect from the Federal Government.

What about in our justice system?  In Pennsylvania more than 6,000 juvenile justice cases were dismissed by the State Supreme court when the actions of two judges were discovered.  Over the course of five years two judges received more than $2.8 Million in kickbacks for sentencing juveniles to incarceration at privately owned facilities if the charging documents are to be believed.  The two judges pleaded guilty before the plea bargain was refused by the Federal District Court Judge.

It is like a modern day slave trade.  Juveniles who were charged with crimes were “sold” into bondage where the private detention centers profited by housing them.  At least the judges were caught and the improperly sentenced kids are able to move on with their lives.

What about in squeaky clean Utah County and the great City of Provo?  Surely these elected officials do everything on the up and up and above the board, right?  Wrong.

According to Paul Rolly of the Salt Lake  Tribune, the City Council of the City of Provo decided to shame themselves one last time before leaving office.  The Council Executive Director Terry Ann Harward was aware that she would not be kept on by the new city council and offered to resign the post.  The outgoing city council in their last official act voted to fire Ms. Harward and give her a very generous severance package.  The agreement is sealed under a very strict non-disclosure agreement and is not available for public view although the citizens of Provo are paying for this generous agreement.

Mr. Rolly wants to make it a Left-Right argument that perhaps the people in (Conservative) Utah County need to clean their own house before worrying about the (Liberal) politicians in Washington D.C.   While the corruption in Utah County is bad, it does not excuse the corruption at the Federal Level.

We need to stand up and vote for people of character who realize that public service can sometimes require private sacrifice.  We need to root out corruption no matter what party or individual is engaging in these wrongful and shameful acts.  These people have taken the public trust and abused it.  We need to take back power from our elected officials and limit the damage they can do.  Citizen involvement in public affairs needs a resurgence so we can avoid corruption in the future.

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