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In this example, is was the correct verb?

Few years ago, a company went bankrupt. The issue was/is that the staffs were corrupt.

If I understand correctly, the issue remains the issue today and in the future, so "is" can also be used. However, I am not sure if it should actually be "was" because the event happened in the past.

Thanks!

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The context of the two sentences suggests that the issue was the reason for bankruptcy at the time:

Few years ago, a company went bankrupt. The issue was that the staff were corrupt.

(the collective noun staff doesn't take 's' for plural')

To make it clear that the issue exists now, it is better to use additional words:

Few years ago, a company went bankrupt. The issue still remains, that the staff were corrupt (then).

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  • Thank you @Alex_ander. Does it mean that using is in Few years ago, a company went bankrupt. The issue is that the staff were corrupt. is wrong? – user1764381 Sep 2 '18 at 5:02
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    It is not wrong grammatically (with the combination of tenses used), but it sounds unclear (up to looking wrong) without additional specific context, which I suggested for axample. That is because natural logic of events puts 'issue' (as the reason for bancruptsy) to the past. If you leave that text 'as is', a question about the issue will arise: so it's not about the reason for bankruptcy, then is it about current problems e. g. with reputation of some related company? Some explanation is expected after such a sentence. – Alex_ander Sep 2 '18 at 6:49

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