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Some Question Mitchell As Report Draws Near

Publication Date: 
December 11, 2007
Baltimore Sun
Childs Walker

Professor Deborah L. Rhode is quoted in the Baltimore Sun about former Senator George Mitchell's forthcoming report on steroid use in baseball, and whether his ties to the Boston Red Sox present a conflict of interest:

Stanford ethics professor Deborah Rhode said she doubts Mitchell would jeopardize his reputation by behaving unethically but said the reality of his actions might not eliminate public skepticism.

"If you're trying to restore public confidence, you want to avoid both the reality and the appearance of a conflict," she said. "I think that, given his experience, Sen. Mitchell would bend over backwards to make sure there's no real conflict. But there may be no way for him to allay all public doubts."

Such questions are common in public life, she said, where the experts appointed to investigate issues often have ties to the people involved in those issues.

"On the positive side of it, you get someone who is very interested and knowledgeable about the matter," she said.