« The rules of the road | Main | Chirac and De Villepin Wave the White Flag of Surrender »

Silence is golden -- especially when it's someone else's gold

When a civil case is settled out of court, in many cases there is an agreement from both sides not to disclose the terms of that settlement. The party that wins the money agrees to not discuss the matter any more or how much they received, and the other side is spared any future embarassment. It's a slightly distasteful practice, but it's pretty much accepted around the world.

In Massachusetts, though, that principle is being perverted. A certain institution has been the target of numerous lawsuits for discrimination and civil-rights violations. In many of those cases, they were settled out of court, and confidentiality agreements were a key part of those settlements. But the cost of those suits has become public, and in the last two years they've paid out $1.8 million dollars to keep their dirty laundry out of the public record.

How do we know the cost of these confidential settlements? Because they came out of taxpayer funds. You see, the institution that has settled these lawsuits against it was the Massachusetts Judicial System.

That's right. The very same court system that is charged with insuring justice has been repeatedly accused of gross violations against employees, and has repeatedly settled those charges quietly.

And just to add insult to injury, they haven't had to pay the price. They've just passed the cost of their improprieties on to the Massachusetts taxpayers.

And just what has been done to the officials who actually committed those original acts that triggered the lawsuits? How were they sanctioned for their misconduct? Beats the hell out of me, because thanks to the confidentiality terms, I doubt we'll ever even hear the full details of the allegations. But I don't recall too many stories of judges or other court officials being disciplined for abusing their employees.

Accountability? That's for OTHER people, I guess.


Comments (1)

It might time for a FOIA re... (Below threshold)
kbiel:

It might time for a FOIA request, but don't expect the Glob to get around to it anytime soon.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy