CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU
Date and Place: September 13, 2007
Standard Financial Plaza
Conference Room, Suite 211
Present: Lex Smith, Chair
Raymond H. Fujii (Vice Chair)
Susan S. Heitzman
Matthew K. Kobayashi
Cynthia M. Bond
Charles W. Totto, Executive Director and Legal Counsel (EDLC)
Matthew J. Viola (Outside Counsel)
Stenographer: Norm Fisher
Excused: Wayne T. Hikida
I. CALL TO ORDER
The 408th meeting of the Ethics Commission (Commission or EC) was called to order at 11:45 p.m. by the Chair.
II. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE OPEN SESSION OF THE
AUGUST 8, 2007 MEETING
The minutes of the open meeting of August 8, 2007 were unanimously approved as corrected.
III. OLD BUSINESS
A. Confirming the date and time for the October 8, 2007 meeting and setting the date and time for the November, 2007 meeting
The EC rescheduled the date for the October 9, 2007 meeting to October 8, 2007 at 11:30 a.m. and set the date and time for the November, 2007 meeting for November 6, 2007 at 11:30 a.m. in the Standard Financial Plaza Conference Room, Suite 211.
IV. NEW BUSINESS
A. Administrative news
The Executive Director and Legal Counsel (EDLC) referred to his memorandum dated September 10, 2007 outlining the number of cases pending and the ethics training conducted to date in fiscal year 2008.
B. Elections of officers
This matter was continued from the last meeting, and has been deferred until the next meeting.
C. Op-Ed piece regarding the Ethics Commission
The EDLC directed the Commission's attention to a draft op-ed piece for distribution to the press. The EDLC stated that it will be a basic report to the public about the state of ethics in city government, the Commission's priorities, and whether it has met its goals and obligations.
D. Report on fiscal year 2009 budget
The EDLC reported that 2009 budget will be increased by about $7,000 over the 2008 budget, with this amount most likely being attributed to employee salaries. Wynde Yamamoto, Administrative Deputy Corporation Counsel, and Joe Lum, Administrative Services Officer, attended the meeting to report to the Commission on the issues of rent and/or moving expenses, should the need arise.
V. EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
A. Approval of the minutes of the executive session of the August 8, 2007 meeting
The minutes of the executive meeting of August 8, 2007 were unanimously approved as corrected.
B. Report and recommendation regarding the possible violation of RCH Section 11-102(c) (business transaction or financial interest conflicting with discharge of duties) by a city employee EC No. 03-002(w)
This was reported by the Commission's outside counsel, Matt Viola.
Mr. Viola presented a stipulation and draft advisory opinion. Mr. Viola stated that based on staff's investigation of this matter, the city employee's action constituted a conflict of interest under RCH Section 11-102(c), because it may have tended to impair the exercise of independent judgment in the performance of the city employee's official duties. The stipulation and advisory opinion recommended to the city employee's appointing authority that the city employee receive a written reprimand for his violation of RCH Section 11-102(c) and that he attend mandatory ethics training.
Upon reviewing the stipulation and advisory opinion, the Commission moved, seconded, and unanimously carried to accept the proposed stipulation and advisory opinion.
C. Annual job performance review for Executive Director/Legal Counsel
The Commission concluded that the EDLC's overall job performance has been excellent.
D. Complaint against a city employee; EC No. 06-101(w)
The EDLC stated that this matter was not scheduled on the agenda, however, the Hawaii Administrative Procedures Act permits the Commission to add matters to its agenda, subsequent to its posting.
The EDLC recommended that the Commission issue an amended Notice of Possible Violation to the city employee, informing him of the Commission's intention to extend the scope of its investigation of his alleged violations from January 2005 to January 2003.
Upon discussing the matter, the Commission moved, seconded and unanimously carried to (1) add this matter to the agenda and (2) accept staff's recommendation to issue an amended Notice of Possible Violation to the city employee.
The EC moved, seconded, and unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 12:25 p.m.