ethics

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said his team will accept the punishment handed to it by the NFL in connection with the "Deflategate" scandal.

Wage theft is rampant in the booming residential construction industry in Massachusetts, according to research from UMass Amherst.

     It has become standard practice in the home building industry in Massachusetts for subcontractors to illegally misclassify workers -- particularly immigrants — as independent contractors. The workers sometimes go weeks without pay, get no compensation for overtime, and are often paid less than they were promised. 

   Tom Juravich, a Umass Amherst labor professor detailed the abuses in a new paper.

Days after a lengthy report found it was "more probable than not" that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady knew of rule-breaking, the NFL has issued its punishment: a four-game suspension for Brady and a $1 million fine for the Patriots.

Brady will sit out the first four games of the 2015 regular season without pay, the NFL says, citing "conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL."

Stamford Advocate/Lindsay Perry

  One person has been convicted. Two people face criminal charges, and another three might be losing their jobs. All this happened after the school district in Stamford fumbled an investigation into allegations that a teacher was having sex with one of her students.

scyther5/iStock / Thinkstock

A major insurer in the state has agreed to spend $11.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought against it by physicians organizations, including the Connecticut State Medical Society. 

Update, 8:17 p.m. ET

During a live interview at an Patriots-fan-filled event in Salem, Mass., New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady refused to comment on the NFL's report, saying he hadn't had time to digest it yet.

Brady did tell the audience that the controversy hadn't detracted from his enjoyment of the Patriots' Super Bowl win this past February, and that the team fairly earned "everything we got this year."

Original Post:

Peter Patau / Flickr Creative Commons

For over a decade now, when we've heard about military drones, we've likely been hearing about the Predator-- that peculiar, pilotless aircraft, patrolling the deserts and preying on its targets below. Indeed the iconic image of this modern day killer and tales of its near-autonomous deeds have been featured in the news, magazines and even Hollywood movies.

Two members of the New England Patriots' staff probably violated the NFL's playing rules by tampering with game balls, according to a lengthy review of the scandal that's come to be known as "Deflategate."

The report names two Patriots workers who had access to footballs before a pivotal game; it also states, "it is more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities."

Devonyu/iStock / Thinkstock

The Connecticut Department of Social Services official responsible for overseeing state fraud and waste investigations is facing a federal wire fraud charge, stemming from false information he allegedly submitted for a personal mortgage modification. 

Creative Commons

Two UConn professors who’ve been accused of misusing funds from the National Science Foundation didn’t fully read documentation that required them to disclose a conflict of interest, according to state auditors.

Former Westfield State University President Evan Dobelle has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General that accused him of spending taxpayer money for personal travel and purchases.

      Dobelle has agreed to pay the state $185,000.  He would also withdraw a lawsuit he filed against the university claiming breach of contract and demanding payment of his legal bills. 

        In the settlement, which is still subject to approval by a state judge, Dobelle would admit no wrongdoing.  

The Science of Snake Oil

Apr 22, 2015
Dave Baker / Flickr Creative Commons

We like to think of health care as an exact science: established guidelines, uniform practices, rigorously tested treatments vetted through extensive lab trials. Unfortunately this was neither the case  in the early days of medicine, nor is it the case today. It's shame that nearly 2500 years after the writing of Hippocrates' famous oath we'd still be wrestling with the ethics of best practice.

A string of insults aimed at a woman who works at a towing company were recorded by a surveillance camera. Now they've come back to sting sports reporter Britt McHenry. After the video emerged of McHenry, 28, dishing out profane verbal abuse, ESPN announced she'll be punished.

"Britt McHenry has been suspended for one week effectively immediately," the media company said.

The unpredictable schedules of retail and fast-food workers is a big issue in workers rights campaigns. Now, the New York attorney general is investigating the way some of the country's biggest retailers handle scheduling.

In New York, if a worker shows up for a shift that he doesn't end up being needed for, the law says he still is due four hours of pay. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says retailers, especially, rely heavily on systems that require workers to be ready to work a shift — regardless of whether they end up working. It's called on-call work.

Unraveling the Web of Deception

Apr 8, 2015
Chion Wolf

We fool people all the time. Whether with bad intent or not, deception has become a common practice in today's society. While modern tools such as texting, social media and the internet at large have all made the practice easier, deception in its most basic form goes back to Man's beginning.  Some believe it to be an assertion of power while others claim it's in our blood- a practice born out of our species' need to cooperate in order to survive.

a5er el3angood / Flickr Creative Commons

Cheating can be found everywhere these days. Whether in school, sports, business, politics or taxes, cheating it seems, is as much a part of our culture as baseball or apple pie. But it's not just in our culture that cheating abounds. Around the world, the practice appears to be reaching epidemic levels.

Twitter

A judge has ruled a 17-year-old Connecticut girl who was forced to undergo chemotherapy by the state must remain in the temporary custody of the Department of Children and Families until her treatments are finished.

The Case Against Owning Exotic Pets

Apr 1, 2015
Steve Jurvetson / Flickr

It's official: owning a dog or a cat is just not as cool as it used to be. Nowadays, anybody who's anybody owns a monkey, or a leopard, or a slow loris... Whatever that is. Indeed in today's age, with the desire to stand out leading us to make ever more questionable decisions, owning a creature everyone else is smart enough (or ethical enough) not to own is a true mark of distinction.

Connecticut House Democrats

Former Bridgeport state Rep. Christina Ayala has turned down a plea deal with prosecutors and will go to trial on election fraud charges.

The Connecticut Post reports Ayala and her lawyer appeared Wednesday before Superior Court Judge Earl Richards and confirmed her decision.

Connecticut Senate Republicans / Creative Commons

Connecticut's fiscal future seems to be upon us and it's bleak. Last year, budget chief Ben Barnes said, "We have entered into a period of permanent fiscal crisis in state and local government." As lawmakers debate and discuss the state budget, they're learning that Barnes' quote was not hyperbolic.

On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, our panel discusses the on-going budget negotiations and what's on the cutting block. Also, another chapter in the John Rowland/Lisa Wilson-Foley scandal comes to a close as both were sentenced to prison time.

City of Hartford

Internal auditors at the city of Hartford have looked into controversial hirings at the city’s Department of Public Works, following a citizen complaint alleging that relatives of the mayor’s former top lawyer had gotten jobs with the city. 

Facebook

Former Republican congressional candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley will serve five months in prison for her role in a campaign consulting scandal involving former Governor John Rowland.

According to reports from inside the federal courtroom in New Haven, Judge Janet Bond Arterton disputed Wilson-Foley's claim that she was a "minor player" in the crime.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut election officials are widening an investigation into whether the state Democratic Party illegally spent money to distribute campaign mailers supporting Governor Dannel Malloy’s re-election.

The State Elections Enforcement Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a request from its investigators to issue subpoenas.

Shelly Sindland / shellysindlandphotography.com

On Wednesday, dozens are expected to testify before the Judiciary Committee on a controversial bill that would allow Connecticut doctors to prescribe a lethal medication to people with terminal illnesses. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found 63 percent of residents support the idea. 

Jackie Fortin

A 17-year-old Connecticut girl who was forced to undergo chemotherapy by the state testified at a closed-door hearing on Monday. She and her mother are seeking her release from state custody.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Hartford city council has voted to begin the process of removing its three elected registrars of voters.  But attorneys for at least one of the registrars are trying to throw the process off course before it starts.

On Tuesday, a California federal jury delivered its verdict after eight days of trial testimony examining whether Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams’ song “Blurred Lines” infringed on the copyright for Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up.”

The Gaye estate walked away with a victory and Thicke and Williams were ordered to pay more than $7 million in damages, plus profits attributable to infringement. It is a sad day for the “Blurred Lines” duo, but what could the ruling mean for the music industry?

Jackie Fortin

A Connecticut teen who refused chemotherapy to treat a curable cancer is now in remission. But her attorney said she's still fighting a court order that has her in the temporary custody of the state Department of Children and Families.

hjl / Creative Commons

From the Bridgeport ballot shortage of 2010 to fiasco in Hartford this past November, Connecticut’s had its fair share of Election Day mishaps. Now, Secretary of State Denise Merrill is saying enough is enough. She’s introduced a controversial proposal to change the way the state runs its elections. 

This hour, the Secretary of State joins us along with some local and national experts to review that proposal. And later, WNPR’s Jeff Cohen gives us the latest on the Hartford City Council’s efforts to remove its registrars of voters.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Hartford City Council is set to start the process of removing its registrars of voters. This comes just a few months after a disastrous 2014 election in which voters were turned away from the polls. But, now, one of the registrars may ask a state court to stop the proceedings.

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