Councilmember Kobayashi fined for conflict of interest

8-30 ANN KOBAYASHI

Councilmember Ann Kobayashi has been fined $500.

When she introduced and voted on Bill 41 (2012), she was a director of six credit union services organizations — all of which are owned subsidiaries of Aloha Pacific Credit Union.

This was a conflict of interest between her public and private duties which she didn’t disclose as required by law.

However Kobayashi said she did file a disclosure four months prior to introducing the bill.

Click here to read Advisory Opinion 2013-4 (PDF)

Honolulu City & County Charter Section 11-102. Conflicts of Interest
1. No elected or appointed officer or employee shall:
(a) Solicit or accept any gift, directly or indirectly, whether in the form of money, loan, gratuity, favor, service, thing or promise, or in any other form, under circumstances in which it can reasonably be inferred that the gift is intended to influence the officer or employee in the performance of such person’s official duties. Nothing herein shall preclude the solicitation or acceptance of lawful contributions for election campaigns.
(b) Disclose confidential information gained by reason of such person’s office or position or use such information for the personal gain or benefit of anyone.
(c) Engage in any business transaction or activity or have a financial interest, direct or indirect, which is incompatible with the proper discharge of such person’s official duties or which may tend to impair the independence of judgment in the performance of such person’s official duties.
(d) Receive any compensation for such person’s services as an officer or employee of the city from any source other than the city, except as otherwise provided by this charter or by ordinance.
(e) Represent private interests in any action or proceeding against the interests of the city or appear in behalf of private interests before any agency, except as otherwise provided by law.

2. No appointed officer shall participate in or make any decision on a city matter if:
(a) He or she was directly involved in the matter while employed with a private entity in the twelve months immediately preceding the start of the officer’s current employment with the city; and
(b) Such prior involvement on behalf of a private entity may tend to impair the independence of judgment in the performance of the officer’s official duties. The prohibition in this subsection shall apply for a period of twelve months from the start of the officer’s current employment with the city. The officer may apply for a waiver from this prohibition to the ethics commission, which shall determine, based on the relevant circumstances, whether the waiver is in the best interests of the public. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “officer” shall exclude any member of a board or commission who is not the administrative head of an agency.

The prohibition in this subsection shall apply for a period of twelve months from the start of the officer’s current employment with the city. The officer may apply for a waiver from this prohibition to the ethics commission, which shall determine, based on the relevant circumstances, whether the waiver is in the best interests of the public. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “officer” shall exclude any member of a board or commission who is not the administrative head of an agency.

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