Recognizing corporate corruption and ending abuses of power are noble goals. But our system of overseeing, controlling, and when necessary, punishing corporations and their executives is flawed.
Over the past two decades, our addiction to cell phones ended our need for public pay phones. As a result, there are no more telephone booths. For those of us who grew up watching "The Adventures of Superman," we saw mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent slip into dozens of phone booths where he transformed into Superman. Over and over again, the caped superhero exited the booths to fight for truth, justice, and the American way. We were conditioned to believe that truth and justice for all was our birthright. I believed it. I thought the foundation of the American legal system was our collective desire for justice. But we have strayed from the American way that Superman embodied. Phone booths have disappeared, and so has our fight for truth and justice.
Catherine Neal is an Associate Professor of Business Ethics and Business Law in the Haile/US Bank College of Business at Northern Kentucky University. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law where she was a Corporate Law Fellow.
Professor Neal is the author of Taking Down the Lion: The Triumphant Rise and Tragic Fall of Tyco's Dennis Kozlowski.
Professor Neal was granted unprecedented access to Dennis Kozlowski, as well as his papers, attorneys, family, friends, and former Tyco colleagues. She also relied on transcripts and evidence from two criminal trials. Neal’s research included interviews with former members of the Tyco Board of Directors, the foreman of the jury that convicted Kozlowski, and with former Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau, who prosecuted Dennis Kozlowski.