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Wilbur Brittle vs. City Of Boston 439 Mass. 580

Background of the City Of Boston: Population, District and Size

Boston is the capital city of Massachusetts. The city is the most populous and largest of Massachusetts in the United States. It represents the 23rd largest city in the country, and also considered the largest in New England. It is among the oldest cities in the United States because it was started in 1630. During the American Revolution, the city of Boston served as a scene of several events that were very important. Currently, Boston is a center for higher learning and an international center for medicine. The city has 90 square miles, serving as a home to most heavily inhabited regions in the country. In 2016, the city’s population increased to about 667,137 from 618,000 that were reported in 2010.  However, the greater Boston area has about 4.7 million people, which makes it number ten among the metropolitan areas in the nation. Every square mile has approximately 13,841 people in terms of density, and the greater Boston is number 4 among the regions that are densely populated in the country. The actual population of the city rapidly changes during special events and between nights and days. In total, Boston has nine districts namely St. Botolph Architectural Conservation, Aberdeen Architectural Conservation, Back Bay Architectural, Historic Beacon Hill, South End Landmark, Back Bay West Architectural Conservation, Fort Point Channel Landmark, Mission Hill Triangle Architectural Conservation and Bay Village Historic.

Statement of the Problem

Public administration is an integral part of the government’s executive branch that entails all activities that are concerned with public good and interest. There must be coexistence of public officials and citizens that have access to authority in an area or space. However, public administration officials have a duty of providing services in community aid. Boston is a city with a huge population that requires public administrators to act ethically. The nature of the work of public administration officials basically entails properties and monies, which increase the possibility of the public, trust getting betrayed (Frederickson & Rohr, 2015). Ethical decisions and behavior that maintain the trust of the citizen guarantees efficient and effective utilization of resources and permits government to preserve rights of individuals while helping those that are likely to have the most benefits.  In the city of Boston, bribery in public offices, especially in procurement is one of misconducts that public officials are engaged in. Taking or asking for bribes is illegal. When an officer accepts anything of value corruptly in exchange for the worker getting influenced in his official function, then that is considered a bribe and is illegal.

Review of Relevant Literature

Governments have the obligation to serve and treat all people equally and to give the greatest good to majority of its citizens. Therefore, according to Frederickson & Rohr (2015), for a democratic government to operate effectively, it requires its public officials as well as the workers to be independent, unbiased and responsible to the served people. Moreover, the decisions of the government as well as its policies should be within the government’s proper structure. The workers should not use the public offices for their personal gain, which in turn makes the public to have confidence in its government’s integrity.

Soreide, (2002) says that corruption is a threat to the development of people and the economy of any given nation. Even though many organizations like the UN have tried to fight the problem of corruption in public offices, the formulated strategies aimed at transforming the alleged public administrative practices to clean and honest practices have not been effective. In countries and cities where corruption of any kind is a common issue, the market mechanisms and economic developments become impeded and disturbed. In public procurement for example, the officials in charge end up purchasing goods or services from a briber that is the best, instead of selecting quality products or services at the best prices. As a result, if it is a construction project, the cost become very high and goods that are not needed may be acquired. Instead of promoting public trust and confidence, many of the public officials in cities like Boston are involved in corruption and misconduct that lead them into legal inductions, including sentencing. Government officials and agencies should be accountable for their actions and always act ethically and within the stipulated laws.

According to the City of (2014) revised ethics summary and instructions regarding the city of Boston, government employees are prohibited from accepting and gifts valued at $50 or more that are aimed to impact their official duties or due to their positions in office. Receiving of gifts that have been intended to reward prior actions or enable official action is not legal (City of, 2014).

In Brittle v. City of Boston, Wilbur Brittle was a police officer in Boston, who was involved in heroin smuggling activities internationally that led to his suspension from his official duties. Since he pleaded guilty in 1997, he started seeking to be paid back for a total of 40 months that preceded his guilty plea when he was suspended with no pay. However, it is clear that there is no law requiring that and this is why the judgment of the Superior Court in denying Brittle his entire compensation that he lost during his suspension is acknowledged. Suspending an officer due to his misconduct while in office is the right step to take to ensure the interests of the served citizens are efficiently and effectively met. Brittle had continued to engage in illegal activities in the heroin business with his girlfriend. On his second fall out with his then girlfriend Cotton with whom he was involved in the illegal heroin business, Brittle forced his way into her house and engaged in a physical fight that was later followed with a dispute. Brittle made threatening telephone calls to Cotton asking her to pay him for his most recent trip and said that he would disclose her activities to the Drug Enforcement agency if she failed to pay him as he was demanding. After Cotton sought charges against him, he was charged with stalking as well as threatening to assault and battery, which led to his suspension from his police officer duties. These were ethical wrongdoings and scandals that occurred in government, and if action was not taken concerning them, they had a potential of threatening the democratic principles of law rules, equity and rights of individuals. This was a form of abuse by a government officer that takes power from the citizens and transfers to few individuals that are in controlling positions, thereby distorting the equality concept of all participants of public life. Brittle’s requests to be paid back for the months he was under suspension before pleading guilty were not accepted because he was under indictment for the 40 months of his suspension  before resigning and since he was not allowed to perform any public duties then, the removal of his suspension was not entitled to him. Moreover, he was not to reinstatement in that period.

The United States District Court judge sentenced Brittle to prison for ten years, in addition to five years of controlled release to follow. This conviction did not include the charge by state of threatening to obligate an assault and battery. If this conviction was included, Brittle could have been fined approximately $100 or be given a prison sentence of a maximum of six months. The rule by the Appeal Court was that Brittle had an entitlement to compensation from 13th July, 1994 to 13th June, 1996, the period when the Federal court indicted him, totaling to 23 months, which was not until 5th November when he pleaded guilty. This was because there were missing arguments about the correct back pay terminal dates. Currently the Brittle v. City of Boston case is over.

For accountability to the public, the financial reports of the city of Boston are prepared by the Auditing Department of the city. The financial statements are audited and published in the last six months of every year so that the publication depicts the closing of the books on statutory basis as well as the conclusion of financial practice. The Boston city financial reports are usually presented according to the accepted audit standards in the nation as well as the applicable standards to audits of finances that are contained in the Auditing Standards of the government. These financial reports present the results of the activities of the government and those related to business and have to contain any major funds. Complete and accurate statements concerning the city’s financial condition are prepared.

Boston’s Mayer heads the city’s municipal government. Currently, Martin J. Walsh is the Mayer of the city. The main mission of the Mayer is to offer the citizens in the city executive leadership and set priorities and goals for Boston as well as its neighborhoods. He has a vision to establish a thriving, innovate and healthy city for every resident (Boston.Gov., 2017).  According to  Bloberger (2016), the Boston City manager is Joe Beltrami, who is believed to bring several years of experience. The manager has strong appreciation for customer service, which is a positive attribute in serving the citizens.

Findings and Recommendations

            The city of Boston has various public servants in various sectors that operate in environments that are changing. These officers are required to conduct themselves ethically and legally while in offices for the good of the public they are serving. However, today, the public officials are subject to increased public scrutiny as well as greater demand from the citizens. In addition, there are stricter resource limits that they have to face. Even though the public management reforms have been efficient and effective in realizing significant reforms, there has been unintended influence on the standards of conduct and ethics. In the case of Brittle v. City of Boston for example, the government through the judicial system has shown how it is drawing attention to establishing and maintaining high values and standards, conduct and ethics in public administration as a means of addressing misconduct in the government offices by suspending the police man from his official duties and following the law to make sure justice is served and government resources are used as required by law.

There are various commissions in the City of Boston including the Public Health Commission, which has equitable community engagement. The commission is an independent public agency that is tasked with the provision of a wide range of health programs and services. The main mission of this commission is the provision of public service and eases the access to quality healthcare for the residents of Boston city. It aims to safeguard, preserve, and promote the wellbeing and health of the citizens, especially those people that are most vulnerable. Other than the public health commission, Boston city has other commissions in policy areas such as administrative and finance, Art and Culture, Education, Energy, environment and Open space, Housing and Economic Development and transportation and Public Works.


Therefore, the main recommendation is for the public officials to adapt to the new ways of carrying government business. There must be tools and processes put in place to regulate against undesirable behavior and to provide incentives that encourage good conduct of public officials. The components of an ethical infrastructure that the management of the City of Boston should concentrate on for effective public administration include efficient legal framework, political commitment, effective accountability strategies, codes of conduct that are workable, professional socialization strategies, public service conditions that are supportive, availability of central body that coordinate ethics and a civil society that is active to serve as watchdog over the official actions.

Conclusion and Adjudications

            In conclusion, it is important to recognize that public administration is a professional that provides varieties of opportunities to make choose the kind of decisions to make moral or immoral, ethical or unethical. Individuals in public administration should ask themselves how the citizens they serve will benefit or hurt from their decisions.

In Brittle v. City of Boston case, the charges against Brittle were nol prossed after since he had been indicted on federal charges that were directly related and the criminal proceedings against him had not terminated until he pleaded guilty. As a result, there was no way he could be paid for he moths he had been suspended from performing the duties of the police officer.

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