By: Aarti Maharaj
Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York recently received the 2016 TI-USA Integrity Award for his commitment to fighting corruption and promoting integrity across the US and around the world.
“We do believe—like every prosecutor’s office believes—no one is above the law, no matter who you are, who you know, or how much money you have. And whether you are a bully or a billionaire, we don’t really care,” said Bharara during his speech at Transparency International-USA’s 2016 Integrity Award Dinner. “We do our job because it’s the job to be done and we bring that ethic and orientation to all the public corruption work that we do.”
Held at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC, the event saluted outstanding individuals and organizations who share and promote transparency and accountability in their respective spheres.
Appointed in 2009, Bharara established an early reputation for prosecutions against financial institutions. He has pursued cases against New York State and local elected officials and public servants, irrespective of political party. His office has charged and obtained convictions against officials wielding significant power, as well as lesser known individuals, seeking justice for extortion, quid pro quo corruption, fraud and other malfeasance. A forthright public speaker, Bharara has raised awareness locally, nationally and internationally of the prosecutor’s role in pursuing threats to the public interest.
Bharara added that cracking down on illegal conduct will always be top priority. “Corruption and dishonest government can hurt everyone and it is important work because it goes to the heart of protecting our democracy.”
The Bechtel Group also received the TI-USA Corporate Leadership Award for promoting ethical business practices and its high standards of transparency in its operations around the globe. “Ethics and integrity are our most important values” said Jack Futcher, President and Chief Operating Officer, Bechtel Group. The construction and engineering giant was recognized for its “Vision, Values and Covenants” statement.
“Bechtel has made ethics a central pillar of its global business operations,” said Alan Larson, Chair of the TI-USA Board of Directors. “Bechtel’s emphasis on ethical conduct makes clear to those within and outside the company that clean business standards are expected in all aspects of doing business for and with the company.”