University is harmed

June 12, 2009 

Scandal usually results from surreptitious behavior because the people practicing the behavior know what they are doing is illegal or unethical. The Mary Easley scandal is unusual in that the behavior behind it was conducted entirely on the public record. The investigative journalism required to uncover this scandal did not surpass the skills of a cub reporter. There was no need to ferret out evidence of sinister late-night trysts of conspirators in Pullen Park, of bags of money changing hands or of documents hidden in pumpkins. All that was needed were public records. As journalistic effort goes, it was a piece of cake.

This "scandal" would be laughable had it not resulted in such harm to N.C. State University and to some very decent, dedicated, hard-working people. The irony is that the only one left standing is Mary Easley's attorney, who seems poised to pocket some substantial amount of taxpayer money, unless Mrs. Easley discovers her conscience and does what she should have done last summer.

Paul F. Williams,

Professor of Accounting, N.C. State University, Raleigh

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