Council decides to wait to see Board of Ethics’ version of mayor’s initial request
Hilo, Hawaii – Video by David Corrigan
A vote to amend the Hawaii County Code of Ethics to reflect changes proposed by Mayor Billy Kenoi’s administration was put on hold on Tuesday, as the Hawaii County Council Finance Committee waits to see another proposal being submitted by the Board of Ethics.
The mayor’s amendments would prevent businesses owned by county employees from contracting with the county.
Most of the council was in support of the mayor’s quest to end the perception of “cronyism” and unfair advantage in government contracting. The mayor first vetted his amendments with the Board of Ethics, who found the proposal to be to strict. The Board of Ethics planned to draw up their own version but it was not ready as of Tuesday.
According to the language of Bill 230, the purpose if the amendments is “to make amendments to the County Code of Ethics to provide for (1) a comprehensive definition of agency (2) the prohibition against County employees and companies in which a County employee has a controlling interests from contracting with the County (3)the prohibition against any County agency contracting with a County employee or a company inwthe County employee has a controlling interest and (4) the banning of County employees from representing third parties who appear before County agencies unless specifically authorized by ordinance.”
Appearing to testify before the council on Tuesday was Randy Riley and his attorney Brain DeLima, who spoke against the proposed amendments. Riley is head of the Department of Public Works’ Automotive Division, and his company, Kamaaina Pumping, holds a contract with the county to clean drywells.