CEOs as Criminal Fall-Guys?

Last Updated Apr 1, 2008 1:13 AM EDT

Today's poll: Should CEOs be held criminally accountable when their company breaks the law?
This November, Colorado voters will decide on a ballot measure that would hold business executives criminally responsible if their companies run afoul of the law. According to the New York Times, the proposal would extend criminal and civil liability to executives who knew about corporate fraud and did nothing to stop it, even if they were not directly involved. If passed, the ballot initiative would allow Colorado residents to sue the executives, with the proceeds going to the state.

The news is littered with tragic stories of employees losing their life's savings when stocks die following a corporate scandal, but is it right to put the blame solely on one person?[poll id=31]Is this a punishment for the ethically-challenged, or an ethically-challenged punishment? Join the discussion in the comments section.
Have a workplace-ethics dilemma you'd like to see in this poll? Email wherestheline (at)

  • William Baker

    William Baker is a freelance writer living in Cambridge, MA. His work has appeared in Popular Science, the Boston Globe Magazine, the New York Daily News, Boston Magazine, The Weekly Dig and a bunch of other places (including Field & Stream, though he doesn't hunt and can't really fish). He is a regular contributor to the Boston Globe, where he writes the weekly column, "Meeting the Minds." He holds a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and is at work on his first book.