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"I've already lost quite a lot of career opportunities."
May 31, 2007 - 6:37pm

When a high-profile, well-compensated professor who’s also his university’s assistant vice president of government relations is convicted of a serious crime, you know he’ll find the right words to convey his regret, the enormity of the event, etc.
There it is, up there, in my headline.
I mentioned in my last post the AP article summarizing the just-ended academic year as having been primarily about theft and greed and dishonesty. Here’s a sample story.
Professor Paul Wharton’s a serial thief of public money. The first time he took hundreds of thousands of grant dollars at the University of Florida, put them in his father’s business, and then withdrew most of them for vacations to Disneyland and and upkeep on his cars, the university forgave him.
This wasn’t very smart, since Professor Wharton is pretty clearly committed to theft as a way of life, and the university should have intuited that from his first misappropriation.
But Wharton’s a well-connected guy (various biggies testified on his behalf at his sentencing), and I guess the university fell for that.
Even now that he’s been convicted and given two years of house arrest, there are efforts to give Professor Wharton a new set of opportunities to take money. Here’s a bit from another article:
‘As Wharton seeks to comply with his plea agreement, state Sen. Steve Wise, R-Jacksonville, has asked the Senate lawyer whether Wharton can fulfill his community service hours by working as an unpaid aide in the senator’s office.
“Why would he go out and pick up trash or something, when he’s got a skill, he’s got compassion for kids, and he knows the system?” Wise asked. “We don’t want to waste his assets."‘
Does he ever know the system! You wouldn’t want to waste someone who knows how to rip off hundreds of thousands of dollars from public institutions on something degrading like trash collection. Let the man use his assets! And after all:
"A member of the Senate, Democrat Gary Siplin of Orlando, is a felon and has kept his seat pending the outcome of his appeal."


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