Fighting Public Servants
It was clear to everyone in the city of Arlington that there was no love between Mayor H.G. Nelson and Councilmember Howard McNair. Both had served on the council for more than a decade, and what began as a friendly rivalry had escalated to a pattern of name-calling and shouting during the televised council meetings. After much effort on the part of a mediator, the two reached a tenuous peace pact, each agreeing to remain civil during the meetings and to comment only on the facts of an issue and not on personalities.
The peace lasted only a few weeks. In a letter to the editor of the local newspaper entitled “An open letter to the community,” McNair charged the mayor with gross negligence in approving an extension of hours at a local card room. “It’s clear that this bozo we call the mayor is in the pocket of the gambling interests. He is a disgrace to the hard-working, God-fearing people of our city. Beware the devil!”
The council and residents quickly weighed in through letters to the paper and calls to the local radio talk shows. Some felt McNair had a right to express his opinion, and because he had done it in the paper and not at the council meeting, there was no breach of the agreement. “This is a free country, thank God,” wrote one resident. “We all have a right to speak our minds.” Others argued that personal attacks, no matter the venue, were counter-productive and an embarrassment. “How can we tell our kids to behave on the playground when our council can’t behave themselves?” asked one citizen.
Immediately after the article was published Mayor Nelson received two letters in the mail about McNair. One was from a citizen (Mary) stating that McNair was having an affair with the City Manager’s wife, and Mary had just leaked the information to the press. Nelson knew that if that information was public, the city would not be able to host the Marriage and Family convention which would bring millions to the city. He could call the paper and request that the paper hold off on printing the article until after the award was presented, which was in two days.
Next, Nelson received a letter from the township of Clarksburg, requesting a letter of recommendation for McNair because they were about hire him as their Mayor elect. McNair was from Clarksburg and would be a good selection for the township. Despite Nelson’s feuds with McNair, he knew that McNair was a good public servant.
Nelson took the following actions. He called the paper and requested that they hold off on printing the article, and he did not provide a letter of recommendation for McNair.
Please analyze the actions of Nelson, Mary and McNair using the chart which is attached. Make sure to complete an analysis for two individuals. If you complete it for all three, you will receive up to 10 extra credit points. Make sure that you have considered everything to get the full points.
my answer is:
There are numerous moral issues involved in this case. Nelson’s, call to the local newspaper to withhold publishing the article is in accordance to his professional code of ethics. Failure to call off the article printing would result in cancelling of the convention that would result in loss of millions that the city would benefit from. As the city’s mayor, it is the duty of Nelson to ensure maximum benefits for the city. At the same time Nelson has the duty of ensuring that his personal life doesn’t interfere with his obligation and duty to the city. Hence, the by calling the newspaper to withhold publishing the article, Nelson met his professional obligations to the city he served. Nelson failure to provide a letter of recommendation for McNair violated his professional code of ethics. As public servant, he has the obligation of providing a letter of recommendation to an individual who would make a good civil servant to avoid having the wrong candidate selected to the post. Further, Nelson’s values involves fully serving his city, hence the call to the newspaper served his personal duty. However, as a civil servant with the potential to determine the right candidates serve office, failure to recommend McNair violated his personal values and duty to serve his city.
McNair had the legal obligation of keeping the agreement requirements of a peace pact and ensuring that he doesn’t violate this set agreement. One of his agreement requirements was to address the issues at hand and restrain from name calling. However, calling Mayor Nelson a bozo regardless of the platform used violated this peace pact. The duty to maintain a peace pact applied in all aspects of their interactions even in the media as this name calling would provoke the mayor to respond by calling him names and addressing his personality issues as well. Although McNair is entitled to his freedom of expression, this was restricted by the agreement. In Article 19(3) of the ICCPR, the right of expression of an individual can be limited on the basis of necessity that in this case involved ending the rivalry and name calling between the mayor and McNair. Hence, McNair violated the agreement by referring to the mayor as bozo in his article to the newspaper. McNair violated his agreement duty and the legal obligation instituted by the agreement to maintain a peace pact. This violation devours the power of the agreement and creates an open window for more rivalry characterized by name calling and attack of personal traits. As the town council member, McNair also has the duty of ensuring that his personal life doesn’t affect his service to the city. His affair with the city manager’s wife violates this duty as the publicity of this affair will ruin the city leadership credibility as well as affect other important aspects of the city such as the Family and Marriage convention that provides finances for the city. Further, McNair has the personal duty of providing a good image for the position he holds in the town, hence the affair also violates his personal duty.
Mary is fully entitled to use her freedom of expression right as she desires as long as she doesn’t use it to defame others by spreading false information. Since the information given by Mary in this case is true, she didn’t defame McNair hence did not abuse her right of expression. Her personal values allow her to expose fouls in the society that negatively affect the society. Hence, Mary in sending the article was meeting her obligation and duty of ensuring such practices are eliminated from the society.
I jest need you to mention the ethical theories that resolves this answer, nor did you indicate where the duties conflict.over and include the analysis.