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Saturday, July 17, 2021
Ethics: COVID Profiteering by DoH Employee
By News Release @ 9:50 PM :: 1177 Views :: Ethics, Health Care

Department of Health Employee’s Violation of the Fair Treatment law

Resolution of Investigation 2021-7 (COMPL-I-21-00028)

From Hawaii State Ethics Commission, July 15, 2021 (excerpts)

The Hawai‘i State Ethics Commission (“Commission”) has resolved the investigation of Lenny Kudaishi (“Respondent Kudaishi”), Mental Health Care Coordinator, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division, Department of Health (“DOH”), for alleged violations of the State Ethics Code, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (“HRS”) chapter 84.

a) At all times relevant herein, Respondent Kudaishi was employed as a Mental Health Care Coordinator for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division, DOH, and was required to comply with the State Ethics Code, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (“HRS”) chapter 84.

b) During the COVID-19 pandemic, Respondent Kudaishi was allowed to work remotely and was provided with a state computer for this purpose.

c) In or around February 18, 2021, during his lunch break, Respondent Kudaishi used his state computer and state email account to send an email to the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of a private health care facility in which he solicited the CEO to purchase personal protective equipment from a private company, M&W Suppliers. Respondent Kudaishi was not an employee of M&W Suppliers but sent this email to assist a friend who was a distributor for the company.

d) In the body of the email, Respondent Kudaishi introduced himself with his name and state title and asked the CEO to consider purchasing PPE supplies from M&W Suppliers. Respondent Kudaishi signed the email with his name and state title.

Given the violation of the State Ethics Code, the Commission believes it is reasonable, fair, and in the public interest to resolve this investigation by (1) issuing this Resolution of Investigation, (2) requiring Respondent Kudaishi to pay an administrative penalty of $1,000 to the State of Hawai‘i, and (3) referring this matter to DOH for further disciplinary action as appropriate….

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