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Moral lessons from Baltimore's mayor

Please help me out here. I want to explain the principle of “consequences” to my grandchildren, and your recent article on the University of Maryland Medical System debacle adds a little wrinkle (“Baltimore Mayor Pugh says she paid taxes on book sales, calls inquiries a 'witch hunt,'” March 20). It reports that the mayor of Baltimore is returning the last $100,000 payment that she has received from her lucrative deal with the UMMS because of what she now describes as a “witch hunt.” I guess the other four payments she gets to keep because they were received prior to her getting caught.

This leaves me to believe that if a bank robber is caught robbing a bank he or she must return all of the money taken while apprehended but can keep any money previously stolen. I hope that my grandchildren learn a valuable lesson that consequences and one’s moral compass only come into play if one is caught in the act.

The bottom line is that if you can get away with doing something that you believe, and probably know, is wrong, then in the end, it was all good. On the other hand, if you are stopped from doing a certain activity, you should face the consequences, blame those who caught you, and mitigate the damages by doing the least amount to rectify the situation.

I think I’ll wait for a better example before I try teaching my grandchildren about consequences. Wait, how about if a police chief didn’t file his taxes for years and may go to jail? No, they would never believe that one.

Mike Metzger, Owings Mills

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