Conflict of interest, noun. The circumstance of a public officeholder, business executive, or the like, whose personal interests might benefit from his or her official actions or influence.
Note use of the word “might.” Not definitely, not guaranteed. Just “might.”
Might is a powerful word. It is the reason ethics codes are created — to prevent situations in which unethical behavior “might” occur. The behavior doesn’t have to exist. Only the perception of it.
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