By Jeff Pizzino, APR, Corporate Communications –
Even in the ultra-conservative State of Utah, corruption is no stranger. Regardless of the political environment, corrupt officers and politicians find their way into positions of power where they can wield influence.
Bribery and corruption in political office are the charges of the day, involving Utah Attorney General John Swallow and U.S. Senators Harry Reid (Nevada) and Mike Lee (Utah).
According to a report published by ABC News, Swallow agreed to help Internet marketer Jeremy Johnson get a meeting with Reid for help with a business investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Reid denies having any knowledge of the deal, and indeed, Johnson never met with Reid about it. However, Swallow is reported to have received $250,000 from Johnson to facilitate the arrangement of this meeting. The FTC later sued Johnson for fraud.
The significance of the investigation is evident in how Utah has responded to the charges. Utah has appealed to the federal government for help with the investigation and has even gotten the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) involved.
Republican Troy Rawlings stated, “The charges today, while they remain unchallenged and the defendants are innocent until proven guilty, show that in the state of Utah we are willing to take seriously allegations of political or public corruption against anybody. We’re not going to run from it.”
Can We Prevent Corruption?
Prosecuting government corruption is an obvious misuse of public funds. Can bribery and corruption in politics be curtailed? If a politician passes a background check, and she or he gets elected, what can we do once this politician is in office?
One option is to conduct ongoing screening of political officials to uncover corruption. With the use of unbiased and harmless lie detection technology such as EyeDetect™, a politician can sit quietly at a computer, look at the screen and answer true/false questions for 30 minutes. EyeDetect measures involuntary pupil behavior and eye movement to indicate dishonest answers.
With EyeDetect, such examinations are nonintrusive and simple, while at the same time providing scientifically produced results that are 85 percent accurate.
There are laws against putting employees through lie detector test in the U.S. and other countries, but when it comes to those who govern and spend public funds, I believe we need to take preventive measures.