So what is wrong with a little nepotism?
What’s wrong with wanting to help a relative get a job?
What’s wrong with using vested power to spread the spoils of position or information?
Why shouldn’t a teacher get hired when a close blood relative is on the school board?
Curiously, Pennsylvania’s state law allows the practice as long as the relative on the school board “recuses” himself from the hiring decision.
“In Pennsylvania, it is legal for a school board to hire a relative of a board member if the board member had no role in the hiring and abstained from voting.
“The Pennsylvania Schools Boards Association stresses to its members to follow state law, including school code: ‘No teacher shall be employed, by any board of school directors, who is related to any member of the board; as father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, grandchild, nephew, niece, first cousin, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, uncle, or aunt, unless such teacher receives the affirmative votes of a majority of all members of the board other than the member related to the applicant who shall not vote.’
“Under the state’s ethics act, conflicts of interest are sharply defined. ‘Conflict of interest’ is ‘use by a public official or public employee of the authority of his office or employment or any confidential information received through his holding public office or employment for the private pecuniary benefit of himself, a member of his immediate family or a business with which he or a member of his immediate family is associated.'”
C’mon, what are the cronies on a school board expected to do – vote against the hiring of the school board member they converse with about every school board decision?
In case you want to know more about nepotism, these articles are helpful:
This one is helpful because of the huge number of reader comments following the article: Few school districts have anti-nepotism policies – Scranton Times-Tribune
What’s wrong with nepotism? The author of this article at cityethics.org, lists these areas:
- Nepotism includes many of the basic government ethics issues: conflict of interest, misuse of office, preferential treatment, and patronage.
- Nepotism undermines public trust by making government look like a family business run not for the community, but for the families in power.
- Nepotism is bad for morale within the government organization. It goes far beyond hiring. It remains a problem every time raises and promotions occur.
- Nepotism and its cousin, hiring friends, are the leading methods of keeping other ethnic and racial groups out of local government.
- Nepotism puts officials in an awkward position when they don’t want to hire a relative, but feel it’s expected of them. Nepotism laws protect officials as well as the public.
- Nepotism also exacerbates problems. A culture of loyalty and secrecy flourishes within families. As does crime. Nepotism in government naturally leads to nepotism in contracting, which means a failure to competitively bid, or bid-rigging. This can cost taxpayers millions of dollars a year.
This article, Favoritism, Cronyism and Nepotism, from the Santa Clara University Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, includes the basic premise: “One of the most basic themes in ethics is fairness, stated this way by Artistotle: ‘Equals should be treated equally and unequals unequally.’”