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June 6, 2013

June 6, 2013: Letters to the editor

In defense of those who serve the public

Memorial Day was our yearly reminder to appreciate the men and women who serve in our armed forces. There have been times in our past where we have not shown them the proper respect. As Indiana’s attorney general, I often remind people that we should also try harder to appreciate the men and women who serve and protect us on the streets every day as law enforcement officers. But there are also many others who are also underappreciated who serve us in local, state and federal government.

As the attorney responsible for representing our state government, I know all too well the failure of some to uphold the public trust. Over the years I have brought many legal actions against those who took public funds for their personal benefit. Each action serves to demonstrate that this will not be tolerated in order to maintain some confidence that taxpayers’ money is being protected. But we must also take care not to make the public believe that everyone in government is equally guilty for the actions of the few.

Today there are scandals of sex abuse in the military, criminal prosecution of law enforcement officers and public corruption charges against people in current and past government positions. But for all the attention these cases bring to the abuse of power and the public trust by a few, we should not let it diminish the respect for all those who serve us each day without much notice, with little appreciation and no thanks.  

In my years in public service, most of those I have met are part of the vast majority who are truly worthy of the title “public servant.” While they do not expect thanks, they certainly do not deserve any disrespect due to the actions of others who have failed to live up to their standards.

Greg Zoeller

Indiana attorney general

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