Saturday, November 01, 2008

Librarian fined for promoting daughter's book

Was this unethical?

For 39 years as an educator, Robert Grandt has been promoting other people’s books. So this year, when his daughter helped create a graphic novel of “Macbeth,” Mr. Grandt could not resist bragging a little in the newsletter he distributes as a librarian at Brooklyn Technical High School.


Mr. Grandt’sdaughter, Eve Grandt, co-illustrated a version of “Macbeth.” He said he was taken aback by conflict-of-interest charges. "I was just so proud of my daughter for writing it," he said.

“Best New Book: Grandt, Eve, ‘Shakespeare’s Macbeth — The Manga Edition,’ ” he wrote under the heading “Grandt’s Picks.”

He also placed a few copies of the book at a library display table, and posted a sign: “Best Book Ever Written.” If someone were interested, they got a book free.

But one person’s parental pride is another panel’s ethical transgression.

On Monday, the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board announced it had settled a case it had brought against Mr. Grandt for promoting his daughter’s work. He agreed to pay a $500 fine and admit in a three-page stipulation that he had violated the city ethics code.

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