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Case Study 4: Public Administration Case of Ethical Behavior (Essay Sample)


In Case Study 4, you will apply your theories of ethical leadership to a particular state or local government public administration case of unethical behavior. What ethical principles were violated? Were any professional ethical codes not followed? Was there a conflict between subjective and objective responsibility?
Apply these theories to actual events, decisions, and characters in the case.
Case Study scenarios must be taken from documented (published) public administration contexts; no hypotheticals are allowed. Students can focus on one particular local or state public organization or may refer to a particular situation (well-documented by the research) that would be deemed unethical. Integrate Biblical principles in your analysis not at the end.
All ideas shared by the student must be supported with sound reason and citations from the required readings, presentations, and additional research. The paper should be 4-5 pages of content in length (not counting the title page or references), double-spaced, and in APA format. All required readings and presentations the Course modules must be cited.
Use 3-5 additional sources beyond your course required readings. Wikipedia may not be used (though certainly the student is welcome to review its content), and informal blogs are not appropriate. Governing magazine, ASPA, ICMA, other professional sites, and casebooks are helpful resources for your cases.


Public Administration Case of Ethical Behavior
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Public Administration Case of Ethical Behavior
Ethical behavior is an integral part of public administration. Public administrators must have sound knowledge of what they are expected to do once they assume their administration roles. However, many public servants go against their oaths of office and behave unethically. Among the public servants who have behaved unethically is former Scranton Mayor William L. Courtright, who was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for corruption charges. Several principles, professional codes were violated, and possibly a conflict between objective and subjective responsibility.
Case Study Summary
William L. Courtright was Scranton's City mayor in Pennsylvania until 2 July 2019. The US Attorney General announced that Courtright, 63, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment on 2 October 2020. The sentence resulted from corruption charges in the United States District Court and judgment by Justice Malachy E. Mannion. The Mayor pled guilty on 2 July 2020 for three criminal felonies of extortion, bribery, and criminal conspiracy. The court fined Courtright $250000 and a probation officer to supervise him three years after being released from prison. Courtright resigned from his position as Scranton City Mayor on 1 July 2019 following an investigation into his corruption allegations outlined in the country's constitution (Nelson & Stenberg, 2017). The FBI carried out an undercover operation to unearth the Mayor's unscrupulous operations and unethical behavior, leading to his imprisonment. FBI found that Courtright used his public administration position to receive bribes from business vendors engaging with the city in a pay-to-play scheme (, 2020).
Violated Ethical Principles
Courtright's actions violated several ethical principles. Rothstein and Sorak (2017) explain some public administration's ethical principles as discouraging theft and corruption in public offices. This means that public servants are mandated to protect the public office and public interest—the Bible advocates for the same. The book of Daniel chapters 1 to 4 explores the story of Nebuchadnezzar. God punished him for forcing his subjects to worship idols against the ten commandments' provisions, which provided the basis for ethical behavior. Similarly, public administrators are guardians of principles that protect a public office's integrity, and Courtright failed in his mandate as Mayor (Hassan et al., 2014; Van Horn, 2006).
Courtright also violated the principles of honesty, integrity, and transparency, which are crucial in public administration as it translates to good governance (Perry & Christensen, 2015; Nelson & Stenberg, 2018). He also failed to protect the integrity of the office through engaging in fraudulent means of enriching himself inst

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