“Blissful Ignorance” Award for encouraging fraud: Southern California Edison.
According to a story in the Sunday newspaper, Xavier Alvarez was strutting around claiming to be (among other things) a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Alvarez, a member of the Three Valleys Water District Board in Southern California (that part’s true), ran into Southern California Edison employee Melissa Anne Campbell in the course of their duties. Campbell, a Marine veteran, told the FBI she had doubts about Alvarez’s claim. So Cal Edison’s response? Campbell says she was told “that exposing Alvarez as a fraud was unprofessional.” The FBI disagreed, and Alvarez was charged under the Stolen Valor Act of 2006, which makes it a “federal crime to falsely claim to have been awarded a Medal of Honor or other congressionally authorized military decorations.”
So Cal Edison did something about it, too — they fired Campbell.
So Cal Edison’s priorities are clear. Fortunately for the rest of us, so are Campbell’s, who, after being dumped by So Cal Edison found work as a preschool teacher. (Alvarez pleaded guilty, while reserving his right to appeal, and was sentenced to probation, a fine, and 400 hours service in a veterans hospital.)
Presumably, So Cal Edison didn’t use the outing of Alvarez as their official reason for canning Campbell. But if their stance is that revealing fraud is unprofessional, maybe somebody needs to take a closer look at their books.