ethics

Labor
4:29 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Metro-North Gets Record Fine in Retaliation Case

A Metro-North car.
Susan Sermoneta Creative Commons

The U.S. Labor Department has ordered the Metro-North Railroad to pay a record fine for taking disciplinary action against an employee who reported getting injured on the job. 

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Amusement Parks
10:33 am
Fri December 12, 2014

SeaWorld CEO Steps Down Amid Controversy, Drop In Attendance

In this handout photo provided by SeaWorld San Diego, mom and baby killer whale swim together earlier this month at SeaWorld San Diego's Shamu Stadium.
Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 1:44 pm

Plagued by controversy and sharp drops in attendance and stock prices, SeaWorld has announced that CEO Jim Atchison will step aside.

U-T San Diego reports that the amusement park also plans on cutting an unspecified number of jobs. Atchison, according to the newspaper, will receive a $2.4 million payout and become vice chairman of the board.

Chairman David F. D'Alessandro will take on the job of chief executive officer while a permanent replacement is sought.

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Torture Report
8:41 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Dick Cheney On Senate Torture Investigation: 'The Report Is Full Of Crap'

Former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 12:53 pm

"The report is full of crap."

That's what former Vice President Dick Cheney told Fox News in an interview about a Senate investigation that found the Central Intelligence Agency used brutal techniques to interrogate terrorism suspects and then misled lawmakers, the White House and Congress about what they were doing.

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Background Checks
1:51 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Alleged Rape Of Passenger Raises Concerns About How Uber Runs Abroad

After a woman reported that she was raped by an Uber driver in New Delhi, protesters gathered outside a police station.
Anindito Mukherjee Reuters /Landov

Uber is making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

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Technology
6:40 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Twitter Targets Trolls With New Rules On Abuse

An image from a Twitter video shows how a user would report harassment under a new process announced Tuesday.
Twitter

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 8:48 pm

Saying it wants to build "a safer Twitter," the company is announcing changes to two areas: how it handles harassment and the tools that let users block people who've sent abusive messages. One woman who has experienced such abuse calls the change "a big step up."

Twitter announced the changes in a blog post Tuesday, which reads in part:

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Internet Ire
3:15 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

GOP Staffer Resigns After Comments About Obama Daughters

President Obama, joined by his daughters Malia, right, and Sasha, center, speaks at the White House, in Washington during the presidential turkey pardon ceremony on Wednesday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 2:58 pm

Elizabeth Lauten, the GOP staffer who criticized President Obama's daughters, has resigned, The Washington Post, NBC News and USA Today are reporting.

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Overturned Sentence
11:47 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Court Ruling in Italy Reverberates in Connecticut

Stefan Schmidheiny.
Credit asbestosinthedock.ning.com

Reaction to a recent ruling by Italy’s highest court is being closely watched here in Connecticut. 

The Italian Supreme Court has thrown out the case of billionaire Stefan Schmidheiny, former owner of the Eternit company. 

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Sweetness and Light
3:49 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Outside Of The Games, Are Sports Corrupt?

The executive committee of FIFA — the international organization that regulates soccer — was so suspected of taking bribes that FIFA ordered its own internal investigation. It's no surprise, says Frank Deford, that it found no wrongdoing.
Kirill Kudryavstev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 9:03 am

We so regularly excuse the chicanery of sport. We fans suspect that our team is just as guilty as whatever ooze bubbles to the surface elsewhere, so let it go lest we be the next one caught. For us privileged to actually be down in the rabbit hole, the sins have been so present for so long, they simply become accepted as a benign part of the landscape. Hey, it's all just fun and games, so go along, be a — well, be a good sport.

Only, every now and then ...

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Media
9:18 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Uber Exec In Hot Water After Suggesting A Journalist Smear Campaign

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 9:39 am

The popular ride-service company Uber is in damage control mode after a senior vice president expressed interest in unveiling details about the private lives of journalists in retaliation for unflattering coverage of Uber's business practices.

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Sexual Harassment
10:07 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Yale Removes Cardiovascular Research Center Director

Michael Simons, MD.
Credit Yale School of Medicine

The New York Times reports that Yale Medical School has removed the director of its Cardiovascular Research Center, Dr. Michael Simons, after a university committee found he had sexually harassed a postdoctoral researcher. 

Simons was the former chief of cardiology at the Yale School of Medicine. 

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Politics
3:48 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Top Spenders On Capitol Hill Pay Billions, Receive Trillions

The amount of money spent on Capitol Hill is way more than small change — but the impact of that money is a little murky. Here, the U.S. Capitol is reflected in a fountain full of coins on Election Day this year.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 3:24 pm

How much power should corporations wield in Washington? It's an enduring question — and now the Sunlight Foundation has devised a new way to gauge that power.

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Bridgeport
12:20 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Ex-Worker at Bridgeport Housing Authority Sues, Claiming Fraud

Subsidized apartment housing in Bridgeport.
Credit City of Bridgeport

An ex-employee has sued the Bridgeport Housing Authority, claiming she was fired to cover up $2 million in fraud and mismanagement she discovered. 

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Journalism
5:10 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Yale Holds Talk on Investigative Reporting in Time of Surveillance

Steve Coll speaks at Yale Law School.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The case of Edward Snowden sparked worldwide discussions about the reach of government into the personal, and technological, lives of its citizens. One of those discussions continued at Yale Law School on Tuesday. 

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Secret Money
7:23 am
Mon October 20, 2014

This Political Ad Was Paid For By — Oh, Never Mind

Among outside groups — that is, not candidates or party committees — more than half of this cycle's political ads are financed by secret donors.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 6:42 pm

When you talk about "outside" money in politics, there's a good chance you'll talk about billionaire activists David and Charles Koch.

Especially if you're Harry Reid. The Senate majority leader regularly takes to the Senate floor to slam the Kochs for financing a network of conservative groups. Back in March, he said he was criticizing "two very wealthy brothers who intend to buy their own Congress, a Congress beholden to their money and bound to enact their radical philosophy."

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Rhode Island
1:53 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Cianci Walks Back Earlier Vow to Reject City Employees' Contributions

Cianci and Elorza during the Laurelmead debate on September 17.

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 8:17 am

Providence mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci is walking back an earlier assertion that he won’t take campaign contributions from city employees. Rival candidate Jorge Elorza is calling on Cianci to return about $18,000 in donations from city employees.

This is Cianci speaking during a September 17debate, sounding unequivocal. While criticizing the amount of openness at City Hall, he rejected the idea of accepting city employees’ campaign contributions.

"There’s been no transparency and by the way, I haven’t taken a dime from any city worker nor do I intend to."

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Politics of Parking
4:40 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

State Cautions Hartford About Parking Operation for Stadium Development

iStock Thinkstock

The city of Hartford says it won't "control" the parking in its new $350 million baseball stadium development, but it wants to have "input" and make "recommendations" as to who will operate that parking. And that's gotten the attention of a state development official who has cautioned otherwise. 

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Business
4:07 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Connecticut Shares National $105 Million AT&T Settlement

iStock Thinkstock

State officials say Connecticut will receive $268,252 as part of $20 million in penalties in national settlement with telecom giant AT&T. 

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Pension Payments
8:18 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Despite Federal Conviction, Rowland's State Pension Will Continue

Former Gov. John Rowland leaves federal court in New Haven.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland's state pension of nearly $53,000 a year will not be affected by his second felony conviction. 

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Ethics
5:15 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

When Teachers, Not Students, Do The Cheating

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 6:30 pm

Opening arguments began today in the trial of 12 Atlanta educators charged in an alleged cheating conspiracy that came to light in 2009.

Prosecutors claim there was widespread cheating on state tests throughout the city's public schools, affecting thousands of students.

The case has brought national attention to the issue, raising questions about whether the pressures to improve scores have driven a few educators to fudge the numbers, but also about broader consequences.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Bringing Back the Woolly Mammoth

Credit Funk Monk / Wikimedia Commons

Science writer Carl Zimmer names the Dodo and the Great Auk, the Thylacine and the Chinese River Dolphin, the Passenger Pigeon and the Imperial Woodpecker, the Bucardo and Stellar Sea Cow among the species that humankind has driven into extinction. What's notable about that list is that most of us would recognize maybe three or four of those names.

Think about that. We have obliterated entire species whose names we don't even know.

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Rowland Trial Ends
4:27 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Feds Send "Clear and Simple Message": Rowland Guilty on All Charges

John G. Rowland leaving the New Haven federal courthouse Friday.
Photo by Jeff Cohen

After less than a full day of deliberation, a federal jury squarely laid the blame on former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland for two attempted conspiracies involving concealment of payments to him in connection with election work for congressional candidates.

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Conspiracy Trial
3:55 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland Found Guilty on All Counts in Conspiracy Trial

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Gustafson, center, outside the federal courthouse in New Haven.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland has been found guilty on all seven counts in his federal conspiracy trial. The announcement was made shortly after 2:30 pm on Friday.

Federal prosecutors charged Rowland earlier this year in a seven-count indictment because of what they described as “his efforts to conceal the extent of his involvement in two federal election campaigns.”

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Conspiracy Trial
6:32 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Closing Arguments End in Rowland Trial; Jury Begins Deliberation

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland leaves the federal courthouse in New Haven with his wife, Patty. (File photo)
Credit Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

Closing arguments ended on Thursday afternoon in the federal criminal trial of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland, and now the case is in the hands of the jury.

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Campaign Finance
10:07 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Northeast Utilities CEO's Campaign Plea Judged "Offensive and Disturbing"

Northeast Utilities CEO Thomas May

The Chairman and CEO of Northeast Utilities didn’t violate campaign finance laws when he urged his employees to give money to help re-elect Governor Dannel Malloy. That was the judgment this week of the State Election Enforcement Commission.

But the Commission did have strong opinions about Thomas May’s actions. “The content of the solicitation by Mr May is both offensive and disturbing, and violates the spirit and the intent of the Connecticut state contractor ban,” said the judgment.

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Football
8:47 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Two More NFL Players Placed On 'Exempt List' Over Domestic Violence

Carolina Panthers' Greg Hardy waves to fans as he arrives for an NFL football practice in Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 11, 2014.
Chuck Burton ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 8:44 pm

Two more players were benched by NFL teams on Wednesday over allegations of domestic violence.

First, the Carolina Panthers placed their star defensive end Greg Hardy on the exempt list and then the Arizona Cardinals deactivated running back Jonathan Dwyer.

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Internet Traffic
3:12 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

Nuala O'Connor, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, testifies on net neutrality issues before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:17 pm

Now, we wait.

The window for the public to weigh in on how federal rule-makers should treat Internet traffic is closed, after a record 3.7 million comments arrived at the FCC. The Sunlight Foundation analyzed the first 800,000 and found that fewer than 1 percent were opposed to net neutrality enforcement.

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Conspiracy Trial
12:38 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Rowland Declines to Testify in His Own Defense as Trial Nears End

Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland outside the federal courthouse in New Haven.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland has told the court that he will not testify in the federal criminal trial against him, and the defense has rested its case.

That happened Wednesday morning, but not before more heated argument. Prosecutors allege that Rowland took part in an off-the-books scheme to get paid for work on the 2012 congressional campaign of Republican Lisa Wilson-Foley. They say he did work on the campaign, but he was paid by Wilson-Foley’s husband, Brian Foley, and his nursing home company, Apple Rehab.

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Grant Funding
2:53 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Host of Science Friday Settles on Allegations of Federal Grant Misuse

Ira Flatow will pay nearly $150,000 to settle allegations he and his program misused funds from the National Science Foundation.
Credit Science Friday

Ira Flatow, public radio host of the popular Science Friday program, and his for-profit corporation, will pay $145,531 to resolve allegations his company misused grant money from the National Science Foundation.

The settlement stems from a 2009 National Science Foundation award of nearly $1 million to Flatow's privately-owned company, ScienceFriday, Inc., for the purposes of "extending the impact of its weekly radio program to a new and younger audience through the use of cyber-space platforms and interactive tools such as Facebook and Twitter."

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New Haven
10:55 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Islam Critic, Invited By Yale Group, Meets Protests

Ayyan Hirsi Ali.
American Enterprise Institute

A Muslim women's advocate critical of Islam has brought her message to Yale University, where she was warmly greeted by her audience, and by protests days earlier. 

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Conspiracy Trial
8:52 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Prosecution Rests Its Case Against Rowland

Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland leaving the New Haven federal courthouse with his family.
Credit Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

The prosecution has rested its case in the federal campaign corruption trial of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland.

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