I'm in the middle of a dilemma. You can choose to read the report below, or skip ahead to the bottom and get the question.
I was working for an organization that has established themselves within the realm of local food, social justice, philanthropy, etc. Unfortunately, the owner proved time and again to be a short sighted, quick-money type who's really good at playing the "poor me" card, whenever, oh say, half a million dollars was squandered .
The very talented people on his staff worked tirelessly, oftentimes without pay or compensation (despite agreements to the contrary), toward building the positive reputation of this organization.
...Long story short, we all followed the carrot on the stick until most of us (the ones who did the majority of the work) had to leave after being denied pay long enough to ruin our personal finances. Many of us are still owed several weeks of back pay while the owner just got back from taking his friends out on a week long party/hunting trip.
What's happening now is that after qualifying (through unscrupulous means) for a sizable government grant, the organization brought in an expert from overseas to implement the same solutions we suggested for 2 years prior. After speaking with this expert, his reasoning for not just allowing the place to go belly up is that since they have established so much positive press, if the organization did go down they would make everyone trying to do the same thing (by responsible means, that is) look bad. The truth is that while the grant can't be used to pay current employees, it can be used to pay for outside consulting, so his real motives are almost too clear.
So my question is:
Are there specific historical references for good things (success, money, etc) being bestowed upon undeserving people because it would have put too much of a dent in the reputation of their more honest contemporaries or the movement at large?
I'd especially enjoy hearing of stories where the result ended up biting everyone in the tail later, because I'm pretty sure that's what's going to happen here.
You can polish a turd -but c'mon, it's still a turd.