Broward News

Professor Charged as Peeping Tom Had Odd Specialty: Business Ethics

Abratt: the booking mug for a business ethics expert.
ADDENDUM June 25, 2013: New Times did not report on subsequent developments in this case. An attorney for Russell Abratt provided copies of court documents which show that the charges against him were dismissed and his record expunged on August 31, 2011. 

A court order signed by Broward county judge Gary Cowart states that "the Petitioner was not adjudicated guilty of nor adjudicated delinquent for committing any of the acts stemming from the arrest."

Abratt's attorney, Bruce Denson, wrote that "The allegations against Mr. Abratt were found to have no basis."

Original story, published September 30, 2010:
Russell Abratt's bio on Nova Southeastern University's website makes him sound like an international business marketing stud. It explains that the professor has taught or conducted research in 30 countries and on every continent (Antarctica, really?) and has co-authored several books and published more than 30 scholarly articles. His specialty: ethics, a subject he's written about numerous times.

So all that considered, it comes as some surprise that cops picked up Abratt recently and charged him with loitering for allegedly peering in his Weston neighbor's windows. 

The Broward Sheriff's Office says neighbors complained that Abratt was walking

between houses and peeking inside. He told one neighbor he was looking for a cat, but when a deputy showed up, he said he was looking for a dog. Deputies say he changed his story again when he was taken to the BSO's Weston station.

Abratt didn't return phone calls from the Juice to his home and office.

If the charge is true, it's an odd activity for a professor with so many papers under his name in the scholarly Journal of Business Ethics. In 2007, he co-authored "Corporate Identity, Ethics and Reputation in Supplier-Buyer Relationships," which studied the ethics of multinational companies' relationships with their suppliers.

His end goal for many of the papers seems a lofty ideal: Businesses can be ethical and practical. For instance, in 1988 he cowrote a paper titled "The Marketing Challenge: Towards Being Profitable and Socially Responsible." In the introductory graph, he explains the paper's goal:

"The main objective of the article is to show that business can be profitable and socially responsible at the same time by practising the societal marketing concept."

According to deputies, those ideals didn't follow him home.

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Eric Barton
Contact: Eric Barton