Disclaimer: This is just MY OPINION based on years of owning, adminning, modding,and being a member on too many sites/forums to count. So assume that every sentence starts with "IMHO..." OK?
It's been my experience whether it's at home, at work, or in public - "do as I say not as I do" just doesn't work. It doesn't get your kid's respect, it doesn't get your employees/co-worker's respect, and it doesn't work on any website or forum. It's better to be respected for being honest, hardworking and having integrity - than to be popularfor playing fast and loose with the rules.
Make no mistake that a forum is a business - it generates revenue. And as a business, it must be run professionally. Whether you get paid or volunteer - you accepted the job and the responsibility to act like a professional as you do whatever you are assigned. From the top admin to the newest noob - everyone should follow the same set of rules. And all staff members must have the honesty and integrity to lead by example. They of all people should set the standard that everyone follows.
You can't have it both ways. You can't go around making excuses for staff members or long term members bending or breaking rules - and then punish others just because of them not being on the staff, their low post count, newly joined date, or low rep point count for doing the same thing.
That just tells members that your staff can't be trusted or respected, and the rules aren't worth reading. And that all anyone has to do is hang around long enough sucking up to and ducking from the staff and the long-time members to get their post and rep point count up - and then they can do whatever want. And all noobs wind up getting get punked a lot untill they either leave....or decide to tough it out long enough.
Then instead of a site being a well-run business, you have a huge mess on your hands that has become a big pecking order - with flaming, trolling, and bitching all over. And most people that could have been great members take off fast or don't post any more than they have to - and the rest just hang around untill they can start being the bully instead of the one gettin' bullied.
And that folks aint good for business at all. Respect, honesty, and integrity is all you have in this business. Lose that - and you are in trouble.
(Note: see Sherdog.com...lol)
...That just my $.02 worth everyone - take it or leave it.