CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU
Date and Place: September 21, 2004
Standard Financial Plaza
Conference Room, Suite 211
Present: Robin D. Liu, Chair
Lex R. Smith, Vice Chair
Susan S. Heitzman
Robert J. Fishman
Raymond H. Fujii
Charles W. Totto, Executive Director and Legal Counsel (EDLC)
Matthew J. Viola, Staff Attorney
Stenographer: Norm Fisher
I. CALL TO ORDER
The 378th meeting of the Ethics Commission (Commission or EC) was called to order at 11:42 a.m. by the Chair.
II. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE OPEN SESSION OF THE
AUGUST 24, 2004 OPEN MEETING
The minutes of the open meeting of August 24, 2004, were unanimously approved.
III. OLD BUSINESS
A. Setting the date(s) and time(s) of the September and October meetings
The EC scheduled meetings for October 19, 2004, at 11:30 a.m., and November 23, 2004 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 open session memorandum of September 13, 2004.
B. Report on Resolution 04-249, urging the Ethics Commission to use all available means and resources to address ethics issues
The EDLC reported that Resolution 04-249 urges the EC to continue the performance of its duties.
C. Appointment of additional commissioner
The EDLC reported that two weeks ago he received an e-mail from Vicki Borges indicating that at least two names have been recommended to the Mayor.
V. EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
A. Approval of the minutes of the executive session of the August 24, 2004
The minutes of the executive session of August 24, 2004 were unanimously approved.
B. Report and recommendation regarding a possible violation of RCH Sec. 11-
104 (use of city position or resource for special treatment) by an officer of
the Neighborhood Commission
The EDLC reported that the EC received a third-party request inquiring whether it was a violation of the ethics laws for an officer of the Neighborhood Commission (NC) to write a letter of support for a real estate project for low income families on NC letterhead stationery.
The EDLC stated that in similar cases, the Commission has advised that using city agency letterhead stationery and one's city title in support of project unrelated to the writer's official duties violated Section 11-104, Revised Charter of Honolulu.
The EDLC stated that the officer understands that it was a mistake for him to do so and that he was not authorized to write such a letter.
The EDLC recommended that an advisory opinion be rendered which states the information above. However, because the officer acknowledges that his use of city resources on behalf of the project was in error and has been so counseled by a deputy Corporation Counsel, no discipline is recommended.
After discussion, the EC moved, seconded, and unanimously carried to adopt the staff's recommendation.
The EC moved, seconded, and unanimously carried to return to the open session.
The EC moved, seconded, and unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 12:09 p.m.