According to the Wall Street Journal Law Blog:
Paul Morrison, Kansas’s AG, said he would resign on Friday after he admitted to an affair with an ex-employee who says the AG also sought information from her about a political rival. “I have held others accountable for their actions, and now I must be held accountable for my mistakes.” He said he was resigning “not because I have ever done anything contrary to the laws of this state or the ethical standards of my profession, but because law enforcement should be the focus of this office, not my personal life.”
“My actions caused pain and sadness to many people I love,” Mr. Morrison said at a press conference Friday. “I have been working for some time to get right with God, to get right with my family and to get right with friends and address my personal problems — and I’ll continue to do so.”
Every choice has a consequence.
As a business ethics speaker, I can’t tell the readers how many times someone has lost their career and/or been forced to resign do to questionable choices. Morrison says that he did not violate the ethical standards of his profession and technically he may be right. However, ethics go beyond just the specific standards of a given profession.
If you violate your marital vows, have you committed an ethical violation?
If you take home office supplies from work or use the copier for personal purposes, have you committed an ethical violation?
If you teach your children one set of values and violate them yourself, have you committed an ethical violation?
The consequences of Mr. Morrison’s choice has not only brought about his resignation, but has subjected him to public scrutiny. Often I have counseled individuals who are facing prison due to their choices (as I have been an inmate in federal prison for unethical choices) and find, across the board, that none of them find that the benefit they once had from their choices is worth the consequences that follow.
What choice have you made that have had unintended consequences?