56. Orrin is the executive director of Outside the Box Foundation, a think tank that does research for the Department of Defense. He suspects that one of his employees, Jeanette, has doctored some of the data relating to a particular research grant, and has a too cozy relationship to a particular defense contractor that stands to benefit from the results of the research. He confronts Jeanette about her project, and she admits what she has done, confesses that she received two first-class, round-trip plane tickets to Hawaii along with a pre-paid stay for two at an all-inclusive resort in Maui, and offers to resign. Orrin accepts her offer. He then directs his administrative assistant, Steve, to figure out what paper trail there might be that might serve as evidence of wrongdoing by Jeanette, including email, and visits to Jeanette by this defense contractor. Orrin resolves to take it upon himself without any delegating to see how the research data can be reconfigured to make it right--and leave no evidence that there was something wrong to begin with. Steve spends the entire weekend at the office, deleting emails from Jeanette’s computer, shredding memos from her files, and deleting computer printing runs of her computer simulations. On Monday, after he is assured by Steve that there is no trace of the “Jeanette problem,” as he refers to it, Orrin contacts the grant officer at DOD in charge of the project, and lets him know that his researcher has resigned, there will be some delay in providing the deliverable, but that he will assure that it will be of high quality. Smiling for the first time in days, he congratulates himself for yet another successful trip through a minefield, and begins focusing on the next swamp he needs to drain for his organization.
a. Is Orrin’s behavior ethical?
b. Is Orrin’s behavior illegal?