I never ran into a “good-ole-boy” group until I worked in northern Florida. I thought the world of the mayor, but his office wanted the mayor’s friends to be treated differently that anyone else. I am a firm believer that every citizen should be treated the same, but you might be hired by a community (usually in the south) that subscribes to a system of good-ole-boys.
When taking a job, it is important for you to preplan as to how you will deal with situations in which the mayor’s office will call you and ask that you treat an individual differently than what your ethics dictates.
The program became so severe in this city, that they created an Ethics Office to help head off complaints. I think when the budget got tight, the Ethics Office was first to disappear because it became an inconvenience for the mayor. As I see it, ethics is a lot like integrity, you either got it or you don’t and if you need to create an office to keep you straight, then your value system is all screwed up.
When dealing with ethics issues from those that hire you, you become very good and distinguishing between the letter of the law and the intent of the law. Although you can be bullied into acting against your belief system, you can find ways to that those decisions uncomfortable for those who direct your activities.
For some mayors, it is hard for them to believe that some of us answer to a higher calling.