Washington Post
Washington, DC

Dear Editor:

Will President Obama follow the ethics standard of Penn State's football coach Paterno or that of the university's board of directors? Paterno and university president Spaneer did nothing effective with the knowledge that one of the assistant football coaches committed pedophilia on university property. The board fired Paterno and Spaneer within a few days of learning about their failure to act appropriately in dealing with this crime.

A parallel situation exists in Obama's SEC. The Post reported (11/9/11) that the SEC's consulting attorneys on the Madoff record setting Ponzi scheme case recommended that one staff member be fired Director Schapiro did not fire him because doing so "would harm the agency's work." What work?! Can we expect continued incompetence from this staff? The Post did not explain why they did not identify the consulting attorney firm whose extremely weak (less than slap on wrist) disciplinary recommendations are so laughable they suggest further corruption. You also reported the SEC's director of enforcement, Robert Khuzani, said " ...We understand the importance of it, we understand the expectations of the American people, and we are prepared to address it." Understand?!

If the President is to carry out his 2008 campaign promises of transparency, accountability and transformation of government, he needs to clean out the rats' nest at SEC and in other departments. His first Chief of Staff once said something like, "A crisis should not be wasted." As a retired government employee, I am embarrassed that a long culture of uncorrected incompetence sullies the necessary and valuable work of the qualified employees. Will President Obama kick the can down the road or do the right thing? We should know in a few days. Rocket science is not required.

Sincerely yours,

Jan Polissar