Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Report Says Director of Smithsonian Latino Center Violated "General Ethical Rules"

On April 15, 2008, the New York Times reported that the former director of the Smithsonian Latino Center violated ethical rules.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

But a report released on Monday after an inquiry by the inspector general, A. Sprightly Ryan, said, “The evidence gathered in this investigation indicates that on multiple occasions O’Leary violated these general ethical rules as well as specific prohibitions on conduct that constitutes or appears to constitute a conflict of interest.”

The institution released the report in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from The Washington Post, said a Smithsonian spokeswoman, Linda St. Thomas.

The report also said that Ms. O’Leary, 39, solicited and accepted gifts “from prohibited sources” and used “Smithsonian resources for private gain.”

“She also violated the travel policy, particularly through repeated misuse of her Smithsonian-issued travel card,” the report said. “Finally, she also engaged in other questionable conduct that created an appearance of impropriety and could compromise public confidence in the Smithsonian.”

In a statement sent to The New York Times by e-mail on Monday, Ms. O’Leary denied that she had been reimbursed for personal expenses and said her supervisor’s office had authorized all of her travel. She said she was “proud of the Smithsonian Latino Center’s accomplishments under my direction.”

For the entire story, see "Ex-Director of Smithsonian Latino Center Solicited Gifts and Tickets, Report Says" in the April 15l, 2008, issue of the New York Times.


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