recent Miami Herald article
describes a case that embodies a number of important government ethics issues, including the conflict issues
that involve local schools of higher education, gifts to officials' relatives and the officials' knowledge of them, an ethics program's jurisdiction over these relatives, and whether government attorneys should provide ethics advice about past conduct.
The article reports on the ways in which a fast-expanding for-profit medical college has apparently been
involved with elected officials and their families. The article says that the college's
founder has made over $170,000 in campaign contributions, it has
hired a member of the state legislature as an attorney, and it has
provided free tuition to that legislator's sister-in-law.
That same legislator sponsored legislation that loosened the
accreditation requirements for physical therapy assistant programs
which, among other things, allowed the college to rapidly expand its
program to five different campuses. The legislation was tacked on to
an unrelated piece of legislation just before it was voted on, and
"could ultimately boost Dade Medical’s revenues by millions of