Right of way was needed for a new highway and State officials claimed that state R/W staff was unable to handle the new workload, so they asked the city to do the appraisals and acquisition. We were told to certify that the City staff were qualified. A review found that they were badly unqualified, but that was hidden. City staff then claimed that they would get private experts when they needed them and State officials went ahead with the City plan.
As the process unfolded, the occasional State review found many bad and even illegal processes and payments. Several City staff quit and left the state. One committed suicide. In the final review we found errors that amounted to about $10 million. Unfortunately that was at about the time that Las Angeles was having fraud investigations for hundreds of millions on their transit contracts and we were told that there was no room for the effort to check on our problem.
One owner in the path of the highway took the City to court on the condemnation and got a settlement of several times what the appraisal was. The suspicion was that the owner had connections to get the unqualified City staff to do work that State staff would not have let the big settlement be allowed.
I find a REAL big differance between illegal vs unethical & who is to say what is unethical; normally the person that is requested to do it has a personal feeling that it is unethical which it may be or it may NOT be but the person feels that it is unethical, but has no real way to check to see if it is ethical vs unethical, normally it is not in a manual. Illegal is real easy to check normally as the act requested can be found in the state/city etc. code as a violation of the law. I do not feel many persons in goverment knowly violate the law at the work place but many have problems daily with what they feel as unethical. So I can't vote, I can only say I knowingly have never violated the law but I sure have seen I lot in 40 years of service that I felt was unethical.