The Honolulu Ethics Commission found that Councilman Ikaika Anderson misused his city position and authority when he tried to evade a parking violation warning and threatened retaliation against the Parking Office employees because they enforced parking policies that apply to all who park in the Frank Fasi Municipal Building Parking Garage.
Click here for the full opinion.
Anderson parks his car in a reserved parking stall in the garage which is under jurisdiction of the city's Parking Office, according to the ethics commission. The Parking Office oversees and carries out day-to-day operations of the garage which includes assigning stalls, maintenance, administration, and security.
On December 22, 2010, Anderson entered the Parking Office to address a parking violation warning he had received for allowing a visitor to park in his stall and for parking his own car in an area that was not designated.
According to all six witnesses present, four from the Parking Office and two from another city agency, Anderson addressed the Parking Office employees in a loud and threatening voice.
Anderson said that since he pays for the assigned stall, he can do what he wants with it including trading stalls with other councilmembers and having guests park there. He stated that the warnings and rule enforcement were "baloney" and that these warnings from the Parking Office need to stop, otherwise he will bring back Bill 62 and "we'll see what happens to your job."
Anderson had introduced Bill 62 in 2009 following several disagreements he had with the Parking Office. The bill aimed to transfer the Parking Office's oversight to the Council Chair for Council parking.
The commission found that Anderson violated city ethics law that prohibits favoritism or special treatment. The commission said he knew or should have known that he was using the authority of his city position to intimidate the Parking Office personnel with legislation that Office personnel had opposed, and that may affect their jobs.
Based on the totality of the factors, the commission said it believes that publication of the Advisory Opinion identifying Anderson and his misconduct is sufficient in lieu of a civil fine.
"City officials are held to the highest standards of ethical conduct so that the public may have trust and confidence in the integrity of city government," said Commission Executive Director and Legal Counsel Chuck Totto. "Although this may seem like a relatively small matter, it is important for the public and city employees to know that high ranking government officials may not use their position to give themselves or anyone else favored treatment."