Politicians are held to a higher standard than anyone.

Hollywood celebrities, sports heroes and musicians tend to get a pass. People let things slide.

Actor Hugh Grant got caught cheating with a prostitute, yet old ladies continue to watch his movies because he’s “so very charming.”

Louisville basketball head coach Rick Pitino, who is married with five children, admits to paying for an abortion for a woman, yet they’ll cheer for him in the Bluegrass State so long as he wins.

But when it comes to our politicians, a higher standard is expected. We hold politicians to higher standards than others in the spotlight because they make decisions that actually affect us.

We expect more from our politicians than we’d expect of our family, friends and even ourselves.  And that’s how it should be. Politicians are our leaders. A trust is required.

If that standard is not met or that trust is broken, there are severe consequences.

Consequences felt right now by former Republican Assemblyman Michael Duvall, whose extramarital affairs with lobbyists were revealed by way of his live microphone at a televised committee hearing.

Sparing the already well-documented details, Duvall stepped all over his “traditional values.” 

Whether it’s at the national level, the state level or the local level – a lesson, once again, needs to be learned.

For the elected officials in each city and county, for the city manager or the police chief, or for anyone else in a local government leadership position, credibility is the most important quality one has if they wish to properly lead.

There are exceptions, but not many. There are a number of examples of elected officials acting out of line. PublicCEO.com has an entire section dedicated to just that.

Community leaders must act professionally and understand that there is a public microscope on their private lives too.

Duvall was a case of disrespect to both his professional image and his personal image. A hypocrite on display, calling for family values and disregarding them personally, Duvall also committed a major offense in the professional world, having affairs with two lobbyists in the Capitol.

His credibility now ruined, his career now shot and another public figure in government shamed.

James Spencer can be reached at jspencer@publicceo.com