Monday, October 03, 2005

Taking Liberties At The Licence Office

Here in Toronto, if you want to work at city hall, it's not what you know, but who you know. And nowhere is that truer than in the licensing department.

The woman in charge of overseeing the issuance of every conceivable licence at Toronto City Hall admitted today that she took a little licence with a younger married man in her office:

A suspended city bureaucrat who admitted to a romantic relationship with one of her married employees called a news conference in front of City Hall on Monday to fend off allegations of cronyism and defend workplace romances.

Pam Coburn, 45, head of the city's municipal and licensing standards department, even cited statistics on the prevalence of dalliances in the office, and suggested some office flings could be “good.”

Flanked by her 12-year-old daughter Emma and 16-year-old son Jake, Ms. Coburn addressed a throng of reporters with remarks better suited to a daytime soap opera as she admitted to a relationship with Joseph Carnevale, 33, a married man who rose quickly through the ranks to become her second-in-command.

“I, like all employees, and all citizens of this city, I'm human, and I cannot regret that I came to care deeply for another person,” she said. “I did not choose to feel this way, but it was a life event for me.”


Ms. Coburn and Mr. Carnevale were put on paid leave last week pending an investigation by the city's auditor general and the legal department.

One wonders how such a vapid mind full of psychobabble, Cosmopolitan articles and Oprah Winfrey repeats ever rose to such a position of responsibility.

Her rationalization of her dalliance with one of her subordinates--a married man, at that--reflects how she probably rationalized away nepotism in her department.

She probably didn't choose to feel outraged about corrupt hiring practices; they just happened, and who was she to judge what feels right to others?

She also forgot the cardinal rule against office romance: don't get your meat where you get your bread.

Source: Globe and Mail

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