Case #1728.0

A Duty to Leak?

Publication Date: February 01, 2004
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This case describes the challenge faced by the executive director of a (disguised) human rights watchdog agency. The state wants to increase the number of inmates in its prisons (without increasing the size of the facilities). This requires the approval of the board of the watchdog agency. Staff to the board has conducted a study that suggests that additional crowding in the prison might be dangerous, and recommends against approving the increase in inmates. Notwithstanding the staff arguments and recommendation, a majority of the board is set to approve the increase. The question posed is whether, in this circumstance, the executive director has a moral duty to leak the report or other information about the decision, to the press.

Learning Objective:
The case can be used to explore the definition of job responsibilities, the meaning and scope of leadership, and the analysis of moral duties and claims.

Other Details

Case Author:
Herman (Dutch) B. Leonard
Faculty Lead:
Herman (Dutch) B. Leonard
Pages (incl. exhibits):
United States