Nepotism is a difficult topic to get a hold of. It is the most
generally accepted kind of ethical misconduct, most governments do
not keep records (or, at least, public records) of familial
relationships, and nepotism provisions are rarely enforced. For all
of these reasons, the news media do not give nepotism much coverage.
So in many governments, especially those with poor ethics
environments, nepotism is common.
Kudos go to David Wickert of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
for doing an
investigative piece last weekend
about nepotism in the
metropolitan Atlanta area (Disclosure: I was interviewed for the
article, and I am quoted in it).
Wickert writes, "In the last three years alone, five area city and
county governments hired at least 770 relatives of current
employees. Those hires took place as thousands of metro residents
struggled to find work, raising questions about whether family ties
trump good government."