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Quote of the Day - I have always been willing to make an explanation, but never an excuse, for doing anything I considered proper. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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Kansas? From South America to the Smithsonian

You're the head of the Smithsonian Institution. You receive an offer to purchase South American headdresses that include feathers from endangered birds. More than likely, you know that such a purchase would violate several laws, including international treaties. What do you do?

If you're Secretary Lawrence M. Small, you seek legal advice (which apparently OK'd the purchase), and then after buying them, you display them at several of the Smithsonian Museums.

Then, you get a tap on the shoulder from the U.S. Attorney in Raleigh, NC. I thought the Smithsonian was in Washington, D.C., just a couple of states North. How did we get this far South, Toto?

Next thing you know, you're pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of violating a federal law protecting endangered birds. Whoops!

But, thankfully, your employer isn't going to fire you. According to the Smithsonian's Board of Directors, investigation and guilty plea "has not impaired, is not impairing, and will not hereafter impair" Small's ability to run the Smithsonian. Wow! Past, present and future imperfect participles all in one sentence.

Small will continue to run the Smithsonian's 16 museums and galleries, the National Zoo in Washington and research facilities in the United States and abroad.

Apparently, there's a little bit of larceny in everyone. Or maybe just Indiana Jones. Funny, they don't even look alike.

Then again, you could be prosecuted by the likes of Andy Griffith.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, January 22, 2004 at 11:15 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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