You’re right. Management is at fault, not your hard work. The board of directors should lose their jobs; hell, they should probably spend time in jail, but we both know that won’t happen. Instead, you’re going to take the fall for their bad choices. Hold that thought. I’m still talking. You say you know some details of the public funds appropriation process that would embarrass me if divulged, and I grant you the tidbits you’ve teased me with are impressive, as blackmail items go, and might do you some good if the board didn’t know them, but there’s your problem. Hey. I’m still talking. You were at that conference with me. You met with the lobbyists. Fast-forward to the day you go public. Was I there with you? Well, reality is flexible, more so for executives. You could disavow it all, claim you were framed, and you might win, but you don’t want to have to, sport. Justice deferred is too goddamned expensive. I tell you now I delivered them cash in a briefcase, if only to impress on you how little I care what you know. The briefcase that makes it into evidence will have your monogram. Oh. And worse. I have immunity. I’ve been a justice department investigator since the last influence peddling scandal. See this? It’s sending our conversation to a collection unit on the fifth floor. Tiny, isn’t it? American product! Clear as crystal. Again, I tell you because you matter so little. So, listen. Read over the package. Talk about your options with your wife Pam, your two boys, the dogs. I think in a day or two you’ll find the terms downright generous. Then, if you still want to talk about the other option, get back to me with something I can use.

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