The Sandusky affair is a terrible problem in ethics of allowing a small problem to become a major problem. Instead of facing the embarrassment that would have been required years ago it was ignored. There are some ethical lines that should simply never be crossed in any way. It is hard to imagine this was not one of them.
There was an episode of Mad Men, the show about an advertising firm in the 1960’s. A partner, facing financial difficulties ‘borrows’ from the company account. When Don Draper discovers it and confronts him- he fires him, quickly and directly. “I can’t trust you” he said when he was begged tearfully by the partner for a second chance. The disgraced partner commits suicide.
Some transgressions never merit a second chance.
Don: “You embezzled funds and you forged my signature.”
Lane: “I apologize deeply for involving you. I suppose I picked you because you’ve always been the most decent to me.”
Don: “I’m doing the most decent thing I could possibly do, Lane…I’m letting you resign.”
Lane: “I have never been compensated for my contributions to this company! Including my role in its very existence! Who would have ever have dreamt of the word Jaguar, hmm?! I took away nothing from PPL while you lined your pockets! And I have operated at a loss for three years! Please reconsider…”
Don: “I’m sorry…I can’t trust you. I’ll cover the money that you owe.”
Lane: “Because $7,500 is nothing to you…do you know how the rest of us live? And in the end, who’s been harmed, really?”
Don: “Can you imagine what would happen if a client found out?”
Lane: “I’ll lose my visa. I can’t go back to England…not like this. What will I tell my wife? What will I tell my son?”
Don: “You’ll tell them that it didn’t work out…because it didn’t. You’ll tell them the next thing will be better…because it always is. Take the weekend…think of an elegant exit. Cooper doesn’t know anything.”