I blogged this past August about an ethics dispute involving Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

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Well, it seems that Mayor Luke likes the perks of being a mayor. Likes ’em a little too much in my opinion.

Now that the Pittsburgh Penguins are in the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals, Ravenstahl is apparently trying to score some free tickets to watch a game or two in Detroit. Oh, but unlike the time when he accepted $9,000 in golf from city suppliers, he has asked for an official legal opinion from the city on whether or not he can accept those tickets, according to this article from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Last night on the local news, I saw a member of Pittsburgh City Council saying that the mayor makes $100,000 per year. The council member said he makes half of that and pays for his hockey tickets out of his own pocket and the mayor should do the same.

I wholeheartedly agree.

My feeling when it comes to ethics – both in politics as well as purchasing – is that if you feel that you have to ask whether something is ethical…DON’T DO IT!

It reminds me of a saying that the teacher used in my sophomore driver’s education class: “When in doubt, don’t!”

Because even if something is “technically within ethical guidelines,” your opponents will still have the opportunity to find fault with you and question your integrity.

In true spirit, ethics is not about being within guidelines. It’s about demonstrating integrity above-and-beyond what is expected.

But Mayor Luke obviously doesn’t get that.

I hope he has a successful political career. Because his ethical profile doesn’t bode well for a purchasing career. He wouldn’t even be a junior buyer in any purchasing department that I managed.

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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