Many professionals have found themselves in hot soup for violating even the most trivial professional codes of conduct. The latest to be charged with ethical violation is George Gascon, San Francisco’s District Attorney. Together with his staff members, he has been penalized by the Ethics Commission for unlawfully asking for donations from employees of the city during a campaign funds drive. The District Attorney has been fined 4,000 dollars. The Assistant District Attorney, Michael Swart and Chief of Staff Cristine Soto DeBerry were each fined 1,400 dollars.
In as much as the trio pleaded their innocence by claiming to be unacquainted with the violation, the Ethics Commission dismissed them. The commission’s chairman, Paul Renne noted that the District Attorney in particular had taken part in professional ethics training seminars. Such forums are enough to make him have the sentience that soliciting donations from those employed by the city is unlawful. So far, Gascon has not responded to calls made to his office to seek his opinion about the ruling.
Gascon’s Previous Ethical Breaches
This latest ethical breach is not Gascon’s first. In the past, he has adversely been mentioned in other acts of gross misconduct, which have greatly tainted his image. The D.A. has been accused by former colleagues for abetting racism and homophobia, more so during his time as San Francisco’s police chief. Gary Delagne, a former president of the Police Officers Association has previously accused the District Attorney of directing racist slurs towards a Black-American family at a restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In as much as his associates have denied the allegations, those who were present have corroborated Delagne’s accusations.
Gascon’s abrasive style of leadership has also been questioned numerous times. His proactive drive to reform San Francisco’s police department in particular, has not augured well with many members of the force. This is quite surprising because he was once a police officer and even headed the department. He seems to be so detached from the same people he worked with. Many see the belligerent policies that he has put in place to transform the force as having political undertones. His failure to consult widely has divided him from the law enforcement division. This in itself is an ethical watershed.
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