Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Conflicts Check

George Mitchell feels the need to deny that he leaked Paul Byrd's name in connection with the HGH allegations in an effort to aid the Red Sox. Given that the criticism on this point is mostly coming from some disgruntled Indians fans it seems odd that Mitchell felt the need to offer the denial, but there it is.

For those of you who forgot this is why the good Senator is vulnerable to such slings and arrows:

Mitchell, a former senator, is a director of the Red Sox. Mitchell does not own a portion of the team, although as a director he has future equity rights if the team is sold.

I don't believe that a guy of George Mitchell's stature is going to go leaking this kind of stuff in order to help the team from which he draws a salary and whose sale could one day make him a boatload of money. It just seems far-fetched, not to mention risky. Mitchell presumably has some sensitive grand jury information in his possession now, so if he is discovered to be a leaker, he could face some heat from law enforcement, and the guy is just too smart and sensible to do that.

That said, just because you're not actually exploiting a conflict of interest doesn't mean that the conflict isn't a problem. Mitchell is a lawyer by trade, and lawyers know that merely saying you don't have a conflict -- indeed, even demonstrating that you don't have an actual conflict -- isn't always enough. There is such a thing as the appearance of impropriety, and such a thing is bad because it shakes the confidence of those who have placed their trust in you, even if you aren't doing anything wrong.

It's obviously too damn late in the game to do anything about it now, but given Mitchell's relationship with the Red Sox, he never should have been chosen as the dog to lead this hunt.

2 comments:

Pete Toms said...

Amen, I've thought all along that Mitchell's relationship with the Red Sox should have prevented him from leading this witch hunt - sorry, investigation.

Wasn't he also part of the "Blue Ribbon" panel? Wow, remember those days? Contraction, revenue disparities? What a bunch of BS that was too.

Tybalt said...

Well, this was pointed out at the time, but the fact of the matter is Bud's closest cronies among the owners are Reinsdorf on the one hand with whom he has decades of shared dirty deeds, and Loria and Henry, who partnered with him in the massive Expos-Marlins-Red Sox-Nationals ripoff/scam, financed by the 27 other owners and run from Bud's office, which netted each of them a massive profit.