In the World–September 6, 2020

Download “In the World” for September 6, 2020 here.


Last month, Pueblo, Colorado Mayor Nick Gradisar was accused—and quickly cleared—of favoritism. The city has been allocating $5 million in COVID-19 relief funds to keep businesses from shutting down, and two local establishments that received grants had connections with Gradisar. A taxpayer wrote to the city council pointing out that $10,000 went to TickTock, a coffee shop owned by the mayor’s niece, and $4,000 went to Stiletto Hair Salon, which the mayor partially owns. The letter accused Gradisar of conflicts of interest. However, “This did not rise to the level of an ethics problem,” said Pueblo City Council President Dennis Flores. The actual decisions were made by an evaluation committee. Flores called the city’s process for distributing aid “squeaky-clean.”


Jacob could have done well with a bit more of a squeaky-clean reputation, himself. Instead, he clearly played favorites with his children. He preferred the “baby,” Joseph, so far above his other children that they hated Joseph—to the point where they couldn’t speak a kind word to him. Conflicts of interest in business can be devastating. Conflicts of interest in families can be deadly.

  1. How have you been touched by favoritism—for you or against you?
  2. What can be done to correct or prevent conflicts of interest?
  3. What do you think was behind Jacob’s favoritism for Joseph?

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