One of the best ways to explain office politics is to take a look at the antics of politicians and professional athletes. Their indiscretions become headline news. Private sector problems are usually confined to the place of business. Unfortunately, the sexual misconduct of public figures is the only aspect of office politics that is ever openly on display. Here are some examples of poor workplace decisions:
In 1992 female staffers accused Senator Bob Packwood of assault, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse. He was forced to resign from Congress under the threat of expulsion.
There was the "Petticoat Affair" in 1831 that involved members of President Andrew Jackson’s cabinet. Allegedly, the husband of Washington D.C. resident Margaret O’Neil committed suicide due to an affair she was having with Secretary of War John Henry Eaton. She and Eaton married shortly after the husband’s demise. This caused quite a stir among some of the cabinet members and their wives. Eaton resigned.
Current Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick had an extramarital affair with his chief of staff, Christine Beatty. He refuses to resign and is under indictment with eight felony counts. The City Council recently voted in favor of impeachment.
In 1976 House Representative Wayne Hays hired Elizabeth Ray to serve as a secretary on his staff. Later it was discovered that her only job was to be his mistress. She admitted to not having any clerical skills. He resigned from Congress.
Current San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom admitted to having an affair with his campaign manager’s wife in 2005. At the time of the tryst she was working in the Mayor’s office as his aide for City Commission appointments.
During Bill Clinton’s Presidency, he had a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The entire situation led to his impeachment. However, the congressional vote for removal fell short and he retained office.
Sports is not immune to the problem, either. In the early '70s, New York Yankee pitchers Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson swapped wives. Eventually, both couples got divorced. Peterson actually married Susanne Kekich. The relationship did not last long for Marilyn Peterson and Susanne’s ex.
While pitching for the New York Yankees in 1969, Jim Bouton wrote Ball Four. The book was a behind the scenes look at team scandals, sex lives, and management backroom dealings. The front office and his teammates were upset. He is still banned from Yankee Old Timers Day at Yankee Stadium.