Attorney General Alberto Gonzales learned a lot from the corporate scandals of the past few years. Unfortunately, he learned the wrong stuff. “As we can all imagine in an organization of 110,000 people, I am not aware of every bit of information that passes through the halls of the Department of Justice, nor am I aware of all decisions,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday, trying to justify the mess at the Justice Department following the dismissal of eight federal prosecutors.
Sound familiar? It’s the same defense mounted by former Enron exec Ken Lay and Bernard Ebbers of WorldCom, as well as other corrupt executives prosecuted by Gonzales’ Justice Department. So how’d the “I didn’t know, I’m only the CEO” defense work out for them?
It’s pretty audacious to mount the same defense as those your department successfully prosecuted, and expect it to work.
Ironically, at the same press conference, Gonzales compared his department to corporate America: “Like every CEO of every major organization, I am responsible for what happens at the Department of Justice.”
It’s often said that government should be run like business, but not like this.
The apps, books, movies, music, TV shows, and art are inspiring our some of the most creative people in business this month
Strong Female Lead
The struggles and triumphs of prominent women in leadership positions
Productivity tips and hacks
The major tech ecosystems that battle for our attention and dollars
What’s next for hardware, software, and services
Most Innovative Companies
Our annual guide to the businesses that matter the most
Most Creative People
Leaders who are shaping the future of business in creative ways
World Changing Ideas
New workplaces, new food sources, new medicine--even an entirely new economic system
Innovation By Design
Celebrating the best ideas in business
An award-winning team of journalists, designers, and videographers who tell brand stories through Fast Company's distinctive lens