Briefcase: Fighting Government Corruption

Guest: David Kwok


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Accusations of corruption and fraud have been brought against government officals in almost every state. David Kwok, with The University of Houston Law Center, lectures on public policy and white collar crime and explains who investigates public officials accused of breaking the law.

"Both federal and state authorities can investigate such crimes," Professor Kwok said. "Sometimes, states are happy to have federal involvement because it may be politically difficult to acknowledge that its officials might be breaking the law. There may also be concerns that the federal government should stay out of local affairs."

Kwok says there several options for private citizens if they believe a public official is breaking the law. "Private citizens can notify federal and state authorities by calling, for example, the FBI or the Harris County Attorney's Office with information," he said. "They could also contact a private attorney. There are private attorneys who specialize in helping whistle blowers take action against government wrongdoing."