According to this news article, the only official at the United Nations that was fired over the Oil for Food scandal has been reinstated. Not only that, but he’s been given back pay for the time he was out of work.
So that means that he was innocent, right? Someone made a mistake and this is how they fix it.
Not exactly. It seems that at least two separate investigations have found that he was guilty, but the UN still reinstated him and passed out the money.
Joseph Stephanides was the head of the corrupt and poorly managed Security Council Affairs Division, the UN agency which is at the heart of the Oil for Food scandal. It was while he was holding down the top chair in 1996 that he advised a British company on what they should bid in order to snag a UN contract. This is hardly as bad as loading up the trunk of his Mercedes with raw yellowcake and driving across the Iraq border, but it is a clear act of favoritism. The bidding process was tainted by his actions.
Stephanides maintains that he was simply acting on orders from the UN Security Council sanctions committee. He claims that singling him out is a cynical ploy to deflect criticism from those who are guilty of more serious crimes. This is almost certainly true, but it doesn’t detract from the fact that he contributed to the snakepit of corruption in his own little way.
I need to get my resume together and apply for a job at the UN. Looks like you can do no wrong even when it’s obvious that you did wrong.