Steven L. Kirby has been a licensed private investigator in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana sine 1975 and was also a licensed polygraph examiner in Illinois from 1976 through 2014. During his over 45 year career he has conducted investigations throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. A number of the cases he has been involved in have been featured on such nationwide media outlets as 48 Hours; Dateline; Time Magazine as well as local media in Chicago.
Kirby was President of Edward R. Kirby & Associates from 1980 to 2014 when he semi-retired from the profession. He is currently of counsel to Kirby and Associates, which has been a well- known agency since it was founded in 1969. Kirby & Associates specializes in fraud investigations; intellectual property matters; complex litigation support; and criminal defense.
Since 2014 Kirby has served as the Executive Director of the Council of International Investigators, an organization of almost 400 professional investigators in sixty-seven countries on all six continents. He is also a member of Intellenet, NCISS, and is a Certified Fraud Examiner and member of the ACFE.
Ten Random Thoughts About Investigator Ethics
- There is no such thing as business ethics (or investigator ethics
- A) Ethical choices involve an internalized moral code that individuals either have or do not.
B) No corporate ethical code or program will make an individual morally responsible,
C) A business entity can’t have an ethical or value based moral code.
D) The so called corporate values are actually the sum total of the behavior of the employees.
- Ethical conduct is not always easy – but it’s not complicated.
- A) It’s easy to be ethical when there is nothing on the line
B) Real ethical challenges come when the cost of being ethical is more than we would like to pay
C) Ethical conduct even becomes more troublesome when one needs to stand up, adopt a moral stance, and have a conviction that goes against others.
D) The simplicity of ethics is that if an individual just acts as if they are always being watched then they will most likely act in the right manner.
- Laws should not define ethics. Legal doesn’t mean moral.
- A) If we only subscribe to a standard of legal requirements to define our ethics we miss the point
B) Certainly laws and morality are interconnected but they are not the same
C) Ethics goes beyond the letter of the law.
- The Golden Rule – Ethics for Idiots.
- A) Christianity is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
B) Islam – “None of you is a believer until he loves for his neighbor what he loves for himself.”
C) Hinduism – “This is the sum of duty – do naught unto others what you would not have them do to you.”
D) Judaism –“What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man. This is the entire law. The rest is just commentary. “
- Why be ethical?
- A) Ethical behavior has many positives on a personal level.
B) Eventually those without a moral code pay a
- Famous Failures – famous consequences.
D) Private Investigators
- Why do some act without regard to ethics?
B) A sense of entitlement
D) Instant gratification
E) Lack of discipline
F) Lack of structure
- The erosion of integrity is rarely quick and spectacular. It is usually a gradual slipping of standards
- A) The ethically challenged engage in minor ethical lapses before moving onward and upward
B) That’s why little things count
- Why ethics are particularly important to investigators.
A)Investigation is a way to the truth
B) Virtually every client comes to us with troubles and in a vulnerable position.
C) We have the knowledge and tools to access information that other’s do not
D) Since there is sometimes some moral ambiguity in the methods we utilize to investigate cases we must be constantly vigilant to ourselves.
E) Bad acts make for bad laws and it only takes one major scandal to open the door for adverse legislation.
- Taking our ethical temperature.
- A) Macro Ethics
B) Business Ethics
C) Investigator Ethics – Do we…