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MINUTES

ETHICS COMMISSION

CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU

 

 

Date and Place:            April 16, 2009

                                    Standard Financial Plaza

                                    Conference Room, Suite 211

 

Present:                        Lex Smith, Esq., Chair

                                    Susan S. Heitzman, Vice Chair

                                    Matthew H. Kobayashi

                                    Wayne T. Hikida

                                    Patricia Y. Lee, Esq.

                                    Geri Marullo

                                    Charles W. Totto, Executive Director and Legal Counsel (EDLC)

                                    Matthew J. Viola, Ethics Commission Outside Counsel (ECOC)

 

Stenographer:   Norm Fisher

 

 

I.          CALL TO ORDER

            The 421st meeting of the Ethics Commission (Commission or EC) was called to order at 11:38 a.m. by the Chair.

II.                 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE OPEN SESSION OF THE

MARCH 17, 2009 MEETING

           The minutes of the open meeting of March 17, 2009 were unanimously approved.

III.       OLD BUSINESS

A.        Confirming the date and time for the May 14, 2009 meeting at 11:30 a.m. and setting the date and time for the June, 2008 meeting

 

            The EC rescheduled the date and time for the May 14, 2009 at 11:30 a.m., to May 13, 2009 at 11:30 a.m., and scheduled the date and time for the June, 2009 meeting for June 16, 2009 at 11:30 a.m. in the Standard Financial Plaza Conference Room, Suite 211.

IV.       NEW BUSINESS

            The Executive Director and Legal Counsel (EDLC) referred to his memorandum dated April 13, 2009 regarding the following agenda items:

            A.        Administrative news

            The EDLC informed the Commission on the number of cases pending and the ethics training conducted to date in fiscal year 2009. 

B.         Report regarding 2008 annual financial disclosures

            The EDLC reported that all officers and employees who are required to file annual financial disclosure statements had done so as of April 1, 2009.

C.        Report regarding Bill 29 (2009) amending ROH Section 3-8.5 to authorize the Commission to impose civil fines for violations of the standards of conduct by officers and exempt employees

 

            This matter was continued to the next meeting.

D.                 Annual election of officers

 

            This matter was continued to the next meeting.

V.        EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY

A.        Approval of the minutes of the executive session of the March 17, 2009 meeting

            The minutes of the executive meeting of March 17, 2009 were unanimously approved.

            The EDLC referred to his memorandum dated April 13, 2009 regarding the following agenda items:

B.         Hearing regarding charge against a city employee alleging a violation of RCH Section 11-102(d) (receipt of outside compensation for do city work) and RCH Section 11-104 (use of city position for personal benefit); EC No. 07-005(w)

 

            The EC's private counsel, Matt Viola, presented the case on behalf of the Complainant.  Because the EDLC participated in the investigation and preparation of the case and is the named Complainant, Geoff Kam, Deputy Corporation Counsel, represented the Commission in this case and was present at the hearing. 

            The Respondent, the city employee, attended the hearing, presented her views and concerns, and answered questions from Mr. Viola and the Commissioners.  At the end of the hearing, the Commission informed the Respondent that upon its deliberation of the facts and evidence of the case, it will issue a decision. 

            The Commission instructed Mr. Kam to present the Commission with a draft decision in this matter for the Commission's review and discussion at the next meeting.

C.        Recommendation regarding proposed advisory opinion as to alleged political activity by various city employees, EC Nos. 08-137(w) and 08-153(w)

                       

The EDLC presented the Commission with a draft copy of Advisory Opinion No. 2009-1 for their review and approval.  The EDLC stated that the draft expresses the Commission's concerns as expressed at the last meeting regarding the investigations into political activities of administration and Council personnel.  The draft restates the Commission's policy in this area, gently praises city officers and employees for carefully following the prohibition against using city resources for political activities, and notes the two situations where the personnel erred in using city offices for political business.

Upon discussing the matter, the Commission moved, seconded, and unanimously carried to adopt staff's proposed Advisory Opinion 2009-1 with a minor change in wording.

D.        Report on cases presenting likely violation of the standards of conduct that have been referred to the respective agencies for review and action

 

            This matter was continued to the next meeting.

  E.        Annual job performance review for the Executive Director/Legal Counsel

 

            This matter was continued to the next meeting.

VI.       ADJOURNMENT

            The EC moved, seconded, and unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting.  The meeting was adjourned at 1:50 p.m.

 

Last Reviewed: Monday, June 22, 2009