You may not think of Brian Williams as a public servant, more likely a public figure. But what he did (i.e. exaggerating the facts) violated the public trust and put him in responsibilities no different from a public servant.
Understand his stakes are high (suspension, $5 million,credibility, etc.) but isn’t that when one’s integrity gets tested most? It is common in the workplace where there are constant pressures to show results, to align with bosses’ priorities, and to meet stakeholders’ expectations. It is easy to lose oneself in the midst of these pressures. But that is no excuse for not doing what is right.
In addition to personal integrity, pubic servants have a double responsibility of maintaining the public trust. That is what they sworn to do. No matter how high the stakes are. It is part of the job regardless if you are a local policeman, county clerk, or network anchor. If that is not what you have in mind, seek another profession.
What will happen to Brian Williams’ future career is yet to be told. But misfortune aside, his story serves as a lesson in integrity (or lack of) and in violating the public trust.