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Should those who abuse their authority for personal gain receive a harsher punishment?


redhead

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Is it any wonder that people have no respect for the institutions of governance in this country?

Two different stories reported in the past couple of days seem to illustrate the same point. One involves a Department of Social Welfare official who was found to have misappropriated funds:


IT WAS discovered that the employee was making payments and awarding allowances to friends and family.

She was also found to have paid Jobseeker's benefit, relating to a male known to her, into her own bank account.
Civil servant sacked after diverting dole funds to family - News, Frontpage - Herald.ie


in the other:

A DISTRICT court judge has gone on trial accused of trying to deceive an elderly man into leaving half his estate to her children.
Judge accused of changing client's will to benefit her own children - Courts, National News - Independent.ie

While this kind of abuse of office (or in the latter case alleged abuse) is hardly novel, surely it is about time that the authorities put their own houses in order and made examples of those who abuse their positions for personal gain by imposing harsher penalties?
 

Howya

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I think the second example in the post relates to an alledged issue arising when the person was acting as a solicitor rather than as a judge, but your point is well made.
 

redhead

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When I saw the title I thought it was another attack on the mods ;)
:lol:

Eh, no, in the grand scheme of things a partisan mod is very small fry compared to a Judge having engaged in fraud or a SW employee defrauding the state.
 

redhead

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I think the second example in the post relates to an alledged issue arising when the person was acting as a solicitor rather than as a judge, but your point is well made.
You're quite right, that said I don't think someone who has engaged in this kind of behaviour (allegedly) is fit for office, nor should any leniency be applied in terms of sentencing/penalties.
 

carruthers

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Bring back the stocks! There should of course be severe penalties but this is Ireland where a severe penalty consists of early retirement and a golden handshake.
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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Perhaps I wasn't clear enough, I meant harsher than the existing penalties that apply in similar circumstances.
You were more than clear, red; I was being facetious, to make a more general point :)

Good OP.
 

NewGoldDream

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I think we should be careful about including the second case in a thread with this title.

Yes, I know the word "alleged" is used. But by that time the innuendo, abuse of authority for personal gain, is out there. The word "alleged" is almost added in as a footnote.

But the point is correct. Those in positions of responsibility should of course face a greater punishment for wrongdoing. Because there is a much greater amount of deceit involved. I's not like the opportunist looting a tv.
 

redhead

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You were more than clear, red; I was being facetious, to make a more general point :)

Good OP.
Thanks. Do you mean that the SW employee evaded legal liability altogether? If so, I completely agree. It also puts the arguments regarding the reduction of Social Welfare rates as a way of clamping down on Welfare Fraud on somewhat shaky ground.
 

redhead

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I think we should be careful about including the second case in a thread with this title.

Yes, I know the word "alleged" is used. But by that time the innuendo, abuse of authority for personal gain, is out there. The word "alleged" is almost added in as a footnote.

But the point is correct. Those in positions of responsibility should of course face a greater punishment for wrongdoing. Because there is a much greater amount of deceit involved. I's not like the opportunist looting a tv.
Not really, in the second case if no wrongdoing is found then it isn't an issue, however it would be an issue in any similar case. And I do not mean allegedly as a footnote, the case has been reported in the papers and my question is general, both examples are illustrative.
 

IvoShandor

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yes
Yes
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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Thanks. Do you mean that the SW employee evaded legal liability altogether? If so, I completely agree. It also puts the arguments regarding the reduction of Social Welfare rates as a way of clamping down on Welfare Fraud on somewhat shaky ground.
My initial quip related to my belief that time and again in this country, not only do people fail to resign or be sacked for misdemeanours – particularly serious misdemeanours – they are often ignored and they go on to be treated with continued reverence by the establishment, and by the public at large.

In relation to this case, I find it interesting the alacrity with which this employee was dealt with; now, I find her actions indefensible, but in the overall scale of the financial destruction of this country by persons in positions of power, this seems small beer. However, she can, at the same time, consider herself fortunate that the case was not referred to the Gardaí.

What has happened as a result of Moriarity, Flood or Mahon? How about Ansbacher or Ryan?

It is in this context that I find it difficult to read of cases like this. It seems like a woman who lost the run of herself, whereas situations which perhaps involved a continuous and ongoing breach of far more senior positions of trust, just get ignored by the system. She is out of a job now, whereas others are enjoying massive pension entitlements and continue to be considered persons of influence in our society.
 

ANONG

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Is it any wonder that people have no respect for the institutions of governance in this country?

Two different stories reported in the past couple of days seem to illustrate the same point. One involves a Department of Social Welfare official who was found to have misappropriated funds:
Civil servant sacked after diverting dole funds to family - News, Frontpage - Herald.ie

in the other:

Judge accused of changing client's will to benefit her own children - Courts, National News - Independent.ie

While this kind of abuse of office (or in the latter case alleged abuse) is hardly novel, surely it is about time that the authorities put their own houses in order and made examples of those who abuse their positions for personal gain by imposing harsher penalties?[/QUOTE

**********************

Usually the penalty involves early retirement a golden handshake and generous pension. why should these people be treated any differently to the p.s., bankers and politicians who defrauded us of any hope and hundreds of billions of euros.
 

borntorum

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I think the second case should be removed from this discussion, as there is currently a trial underway
 

BlackLion

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Everybody abuse their power from politicians to parents to bankers to teachers. But yes they should get a harsher punishment
 

james toney

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Why did the district judge first blame her secretary?
Still,she has money,and friends in high places,so maybe telling lies wont make a difference.

"When confronted Ms Perrin initially claimed it was a mistake by her secretary but then told gardaí that she created the will in line with her client’s wishes."
 

lying eyes

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In relation to the socialwelfare incident--I think it should be law that a Goverment department report such incidents to the Garda. This is the kind of thing that got us the problem about reporting child abuse and why it continued for so long. I think it is very bad example from a Goverment Dept. The decision by the Dept is wrong, because it is not their money, it is the TAXPAYERS.
 
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