Weeks’ ethics situation could have been avoided
Chris Kieffer did an outstanding job in reporting the serious story Jimmy Weeks cited for ethics violations, and then to follow up with comments from former Superintendent Mike Scott and Keith Steele is even more outstanding. Kieffer interviewing Weeks’ superiors at the time of this violation and letting readers see the other side of this story is great journalism. When you own a business the owners and only the owners take responsibility for all decision making.
At the very beginning when Weeks and his brother were contacted by the Lee County School District (who might that be?) to submit a bid for cleaning floors at school buildings, it would have been very prudent for Weeks to have said he is employed by the school district and needs to decline. This should have immediately clicked as a conflict of interest and the offer should have been declined right then and there.
Kieffer’s article stated Weeks as saying he was told by his superiors this was not a problem and Weeks believed that they had checked with the attorney. If a conflict of interest did not ring any bells for Weeks I guess the thought of contacting an attorney himself was out of the question. Instead he contacted his accountant and his accountant should shoulder some responsibility because accountants are aware of conflicts of interest. Steele was quoted as saying Weeks had lied and resents his character being attacked and Scott concurs with Steele’s comments. Weeks said he had nothing more to say than his original statement. Perhaps Weeks needs to do another interview with Kieffer and start all over.
Weeks did wrong, got caught, paid fines and inserts blame by saying he got bad advice from his superiors. All of this could have been voided if Weeks, the unnamed person at the Lee County School District who called for a bid and Weeks’ accountant had played the conflict of interest card. Blaming others for your actions is deplorable. I guess at the end of the day (for some) money is what counts.