Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Welcome to the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University! Thank you for attending this ‎year’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government intensive summer program. As you know, the program is ‎based around real-life case studies of government officials like yourselves exercising their problem solving and ‎decision making skills. ‎

So let’s jump right in with a little quiz to get a feel for the skills you and your colleagues may already bring to the ‎table. Our quiz is based on a case study of Jack B. Johnson, former Prince George’s County, Maryland County ‎Executive, and his wife, Councilmember Leslie Johnson.

Background: You are County Executive in a large suburban county bordering on Washington, D.C. You ‎have just accepted $15,000 in cash from a real estate developer, when two FBI agents burst into the room with a ‎search warrant and seize the money. You get into your County vehicle, activate the emergency lights, and start ‎driving toward home. Your wife calls your cell phone and tells you that FBI agents are banging on the door of your ‎house. ‎

Problem: In your house is a $100,000 check from the same developer and a boatload of cash.‎

Question One: Circle the correct answer. You should / should not have the following telephone conversation:‎

Your Wife:‎ Oh, is it the box with the liquor?‎

You:‎ Yeah, and, it... Yeah, and look in another box. You'll see a check in there. Yeah, that's right.‎

Your Wife:‎ Yes, there's a check in there.‎

You:‎ Okay. Tear it up. That's the only thing you have to do. Now go down... You..., you got the money?‎

Your Wife: ‎Yeah, wait a minute. I got the cash. Do you have that cash down in the basement still too?‎

You:‎ Yes.‎

Your Wife: ‎Okay, I gotta move that too. Where do you want me to move it?‎

You:‎ Put it in... Put it in your um, put it in your bra and walk out or something with it. I don't know what to ‎do with it. Um...‎

Your Wife:‎ Whatta you want me to do with the check?‎ You hear 'em banging?‎

You:‎ Tear up the check and..., um..., and, and um..., and... , and um, tear it up. Just..., just tear it up.‎

Your Wife:‎ They're saying FBI Jack.‎

You:‎ Yeah, I know... , I know. That's why I'm telling you. [Developer A] set me up.‎

Your Wife:‎ You want me to put it down the toilet?‎

You:‎ Yes.‎

Your Wife:‎ You want me to flush it?‎

You:‎‎ Yeah, flush that.‎

‎[The sound of a toilet flushing in background.]‎

Your Wife:‎ All right. Now whatta you want me to do?‎

You:‎‎ Go downstairs and get...‎

Your Wife:‎ I'm tellin' 'em I'm not dressed.‎

You:‎‎ Yeah, tell 'em you're not dressed. You will be dressed in five minutes then you open...‎

Your Wife:‎ Okay, and I have the cash.‎

You:‎‎ Okay. Leave that little cash. That's okay. That's a little bit... , a little cash. Put it in your underwear.‎

Your Wife:‎ I have it in my bra. And what about...‎

You:‎‎ Huh?‎

Your Wife: ‎... that other cash though?‎

You:‎‎ Um, [unintelligible].‎

Your Wife:‎ You gotta tell me what to do with it Jack.‎

You:‎ Leslie.‎

Your Wife:‎ What do you want me to do with this money? They are banging?‎

You:‎‎ Put... , put... , put...‎

Your Wife:‎ What do you want me to do with it?‎

You: ‎‎... put it... , put it in your panties and walk out of the house.‎

Your Wife:‎ No, but I mean all this cash Jack.‎

You:‎ Put it...‎

Your Wife:‎ I got the one from down...‎

You:‎‎ Put it in your panties Leslie.‎

Your Wife:‎ Oh my God. Okay.‎

You:‎‎ Yeah, stuff it in your panties. Yeah, tell 'em you were in the bathroom. Right? I'll be home in a minute ‎too. Okay. And then just... , and then just open the door and sit down. Okay?‎

‎[Upon entering the home, FBI agents search your wife’s person and ‎recover $79,600 ‎in United States currency from her underwear and bra.]‎

Question Two: Fill in the blank. County Executive Johnson pled guilty this afternoon to extortion, ‎conspiracy, and tampering with ___________.‎

Question Three: Fill in the blank. When FBI agents are investigating you for official corruption and have a ‎warrant to search your house, there’s a good chance they have also tapped your __________.‎

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