by Andrew Walden
Reversing his 2012 position, Sen. Brickwood Galuteria stood in the 2014 legislative session against his own constituents as point man for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs' push to up-zone its new properties at Kakaako Makai.
This much is known.
What is not known is that somewhere in between 2012 and 2014, Galuteria landed a lucrative position as "Director, Community and Civic Engagement" with the Pelatron Center for Economic Development (PCED)* headed by OHA Trustee Robert K. Lindsey, Jr.
Galuteria began working for PCED where, according to the PCED website, Lindsey serves as Chairman of the Board, at some point after his May 30, 2013 financial disclosure report but before his February 6, 2014 report. PCED is a non-profit corporation wrapped around a for-profit subsidiary, Pelatron, Inc, which is an 8-a government contractor. According to his ethics filings, Galuteria is paid between $50,000 and 100,000 per year by PCED--an amount greater than his legislative salary.
In a March 30, 2012 Hawaii Senate Majority News Release, Galuteria had said the bill transferring Kakako Makai to OHA, "...brings closure to a long-standing dispute....” But two years later, with Galuteria on PCED's payroll, things changed. The Star-Advertiser, January 30, 2014, reported that Galuteria "shares the view that OHA didn’t get enough in its settlement."
Galuteria introduced SB3122 on January 23, 2014 which "authorizes residential development by OHA on specified parcels in Kakaako Makai.... (and) (e)xempts development from public facilities dedication requirement."
HRS 84-14 (d) reads: "No legislator or employee shall assist any person or business or act in a representative capacity for a fee or other compensation to secure passage of a bill or to obtain a contract, claim, or other transaction or proposal...."
Senate Rule 71 reads: "Members with conflicts of interest shall be excused from voting."
In addition to introducing SB3122 Galuteria voted in favor of it every time it came before him. He was not excused from any vote. Galuteria also introduced other OHA-related legislation during the 2014 session, including SB2992 SD1, which would have exempted “meetings of the Board of Trustees, Office of Hawaiian Affairs from (the Sunshine Law) Chapter 92, Part I, Hawaii Revised Statutes, relating to open meetings.”
"Director, Community and Civic Engagement" is just another way of saying "lobbyist." Galuteria has not registered as a lobbyist with the State Ethics Commission.
Sen. Galuteria did not respond to a request for comment on this article.
UPDATE December 16, 2014: OHA Trustee Lindsey has responded to this article.
*Galuteria lists his employer as "Pacific Center for Economic Development" on both of his financial disclosure reports but PCED changed its name to "Pelatron Center for Economic Development" on October 1, 2013 according to DCCA BREG.
Follow Up: Ethics Complaint Filed: Call for Galuteria to Resign