CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU
Date and Place: August 19, 2009
Standard Financial Plaza
Conference Room, Suite 211
Present: Lex Smith, Esq., Chair
Wayne T. Hikida
Patricia Y. Lee, Esq.
Charles W. Totto, Executive Director and Legal Counsel (EDLC)
Matthew J. Viola, Ethics Commission Outside Counsel (ECOC)
Stenographer: Norm Fisher
Excused: Susan S. Heitzman, Vice Chair
Matthew H. Kobayashi
I. CALL TO ORDER
The 424TH meeting of the Ethics Commission (Commission or EC) was called to order at 11:37 a.m. by the Chair.
II. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE OPEN SESSION OF THE
JUNE 16, 2009 MEETING
The minutes of the open meeting of June 16, 2009 were unanimously approved.
III. OLD BUSINESS
A. Setting the dates and times for the September, 2009 and October, 2009 meetings
The EC scheduled the September, 2009 meeting for September 22, 2009 at 11:30 a.m., and scheduled the date and time for the October, 2009 meeting for October 20, 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 August 6, 2009 regarding the following agenda items:
A. Administrative news
The EDLC stated that he briefed the cabinet on using the Commission as a resource to assist or handle departmental investigations of alleged misconduct.
The EDLC stated that Bill 29, authorizing the Commission to impose civil fines on non-civil service employees, has become law.
B. Fiscal Year 2009 statistics
The EDLC reported that although the complaints for this fiscal year have more than doubled, due to the economic downturn, the EC's resources have been cut back.
The EDLC stated that the EC's web site hits took off this past year with an increase of 54% from FY08. Part of this jump may be due to the substantial work done redesigning the web site.
The EDLC stated that a Captain in the Honolulu Police Department has volunteered her time to assist the EC in a variety of areas.
C. Fiscal Year 2010 budget
The EDLC reported that the budget for FY10 has been cut by $9,406 (4.5%). The EC's total allocation for FY11 has been reduced from $213,786 in FY09 to $199,621. All travel funds have been removed, eliminating attendance at the annual COGEL conference. The EDLC stated that the budget will have to be sufficient for the increased case load. As such, staff will have to expend resources carefully and continue to prioritize the cases. However, the increased workload and reduced budget will likely extend the time it takes to resolve cases. Furthermore, it is likely that additional funding cuts will occur during this fiscal year.
V. EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
A. Approval of the minutes of the executive sessions of the June 16, 2009 meeting
The minutes of the executive sessions of June 16, 2009 meeting were unanimously approved.
The EDLC referred to his memorandum dated August 6, 2009 regarding the following agenda items:
B. Report 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 EDLC reported that the city employee sent proof that she paid the money she received to the city's general fund as required by the EC's decision in the case. Her action allows the EC to close the case.
C. Report and recommendation 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 EDLC reported that a city employee received a fee along with the subpoena he received from the plaintiff's attorney to testify at a trial involving the City and County of Honolulu. However, the city employee was not required to testify at trial because the case was settled. As such, the city employee was instructed by the EC to return the witness fee to the plaintiff's attorney or submit it to the city's general fund. The city employee had refused to do either.
The EDLC informed the EC that the city employee no longer works for the city. Therefore, the case will be closed.
The EC moved, seconded, and unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 12:15 p.m.