The Price of Silence

Dan Farbowitz, a senior, protesting at Penn State. / REUTERS

The furor over charges of child rapes at Penn State University continues today, claiming the job of Graham Spanier, the president who had voiced unconditional support for two university officials who failed to report an allegation of child sex abuse nine years ago.

At an emergency meeting Wednesday night, the university’s board of trustees dismissed Spanier, a former family therapist. Earlier in the day, it had been reported that the board had told Spanier to either hand in his resignation or face a vote to fire him.

In addition, the board fired Joe Paterno, the football team’s legendary coach for 46 years, who had announced Wednesday that he would retire at the end of the season.

Jerry Sandusky, the 67-year-old defensive coordinator who was once seen as Paterno’s natural successor, was charged with 40 criminal counts in connection with the alleged assaults of young boys.

At least one witness, a graduate assistant, claimed to have seen Sandusky allegedly raping a 10-year-old boy in the team showers in 2002. Though the assault was reported to school officials, they failed to notify state authorities or law enforcement. Penn State’s athletic director, Tim Curley, and the college’s vice-president for finance, Gary Schultz, have also been charged with perjury. Sandusky, Curley and Schultz all maintain their innocence.

Sweep to  Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier out


While we’re in Pennsylvania, a jury in Harrisburg convicted former Congressman Brett Feese of misusing millions of dollars in taxpayer funds. Feese, formerly the House Republican Campaign Chair, diverted legislative aides who were supposed to be working on issues before Congress to instead work on Republican party election efforts.

Feese was found guilty of all 40 charges against him. His co-defendant in the trial, Jill Seaman, his former chief legislative aide, was also convicted. His lawyer vowed to appeal.

Sweep to Ex-lawmaker convicted in Pennsylvania corruption scandal


Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi / REUTERS

Silvio Berlusconi and corruption . . . the words just seem to go together.  Allegations of back room deals, payoffs and prostitutes have long trailed Italy’s Prime Minister. But it was the state of Italy’s economy that ultimately brought Berlusconi down.

Now, Berlusconi is working feverishly to pave the way for a successor of his choosing, Angelino Alfano, a former Justice Minister. Berlusconi had been grooming Alfano to become leader of their People of Freedom Party, and eventually Prime Minister after 2013, when Berlusconi had planned to step down.

Now, he will likely leave later this month, after parliament passes a package of economic reforms aimed at stabilizing Italy’s economy. Interest rates on Italian bonds had climbed in recent weeks, fueling alarm among the country’s business leaders and raising the cost of its national debt.

Sweep to Berlusconi’s favored successor, picked by a tainted hand

At the same time, corruption runs deeper than a single man.  The Mafia’s grip on Italian culture is undisputed. In many cases, it’s what is legal that’s corrupting too: The country’s 945 members of Parliament get an average annual salary of around $200,000. And those Alfa Romeos and Maseratis in Rome? Paid for by the taxpayer to shuttle lawmakers around.

Sweep to Italy’s debt crisis doomed by corruption


Whistleblowers, collect your rewards.  The Securities and Exchange Commission has posted a list of enforcement cases that are eligible for whistleblower awards. A tip of the hat to the FCPA blog for noticing this from the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower and pointing out that many FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) cases are on the list.

If you saw something, you might be able to claim something.

Sweep to Claim an award 


As Cuba begins to open the way for the sale of property and foreign investment, the country’s attorney general is vowing to go after corruption in its business community.   Whether you are a foreign business or one operating within the country, AG Dario Delgado is on the case.  Dozens have been jailed and Canadian and British businessmen are being investigated.  President Raul Castro has said that theft has contributed to the country’s economic woes. Meanwhile Delgado says that eliminating corruption is needed to repair the island nation’s broken economy.

Sweep to Cuban official says corruption crackdown to go on

Diana Jean Schemo

Diana Jean Schemo

Diana Jean Schemo is president and executive editor of 100Reporters, and the founder and co-director of the Double Exposure Film Festival and Symposium, the United States' only investigative film festival.
Diana Jean Schemo

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