Kent Willever, 74, retired last week as executive director of the Rhode Island Ethics Commission. The commission was created by voters frustrated with government scandals in the 1980s. But it was in a state of crisis by the time Willever took over in 2001.
Some observers saw that as a sign of the difficulty of policing ethics in Rhode Island. Willever said that’s partly why he posted in his office an iconic print of Don Quixote. It recalled the moment in the novel when the idealistic protagonist takes on an impossible task of using a spear to attack a windmill.