Friday, July 03, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Can Ethics Commission Lift Veil of Secrecy from Hawaii Sex Harassment Complaints?
By Andrew Walden @ 9:50 PM :: 3072 Views :: Ethics, Hawaii State Government

by Andrew Walden

Does the Ethics Commission offer a process which can break through the veil of secrecy behind which sex harassment complaints have been hidden in Hawaii?

That’s the message today from former DHS Director Rachael Wong, whose ethics complaint just forced the resignation of former House Speaker Joe Souki.

Akamai readers will remember that the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission utilizes a process which keeps sex harassment complaints private.  Similarly, rules of the Hawaii State Senate and House of Representatives prohibit staff from revealing ‘illegal or improper conduct’.

The Associated Press, December 22, 2017, reports that under these rules, sex harassment complaints have been secretly adjudicated against three unnamed State Representatives and one State Senator.  Assuming that Souki is one of the three Representatives, this means that names of at least three State legislator sex-harassers remain secret. 

Souki was outed in the wake of his participation in a failed effort to unseat current House Speaker Scott Saiki.  In response to the Ethics Commission revealing settlement terms of the sex harassment complaint against Souki, Saiki writes:

The House of Representatives takes a zero tolerance approach to workplace harassment, no matter the power or influence of the accused….

As many other institutions are already doing nationwide, we will conduct a comprehensive review of our workplace policies. The objective is to ensure that the House is able to receive, investigate and adjudicate complaints in a timely and vigilant manner. We will also explore other means to ensure that people feel respected and safe in the workplace.

If this were really true, Saiki would name names instead of exploiting complaints for factional purposes. 

Meanwhile, Wong suggests that the Ethics Commission process opens the door to exposing the sex harassers in the Legislature and elsewhere.  In a four page statement issued today, Wong says:

This can be a springboard to a different future for us all …

I would like to thank the Hawaii State Ethics Commission for its thorough investigation of my complaint and the tremendous amount of work that went into the resolution. The Commission staff are consistently professional and responsive, and they honored the requests for confidentiality from all of us who came forward throughout this process. I am grateful that an entity like the Commission exists and that it is led with and grounded in law and ethics. It must be known that it is a safe and effective conduit for reporting sexual harassment by state officials….

I quietly filed my complaint with the Hawai‘i State Ethics Commission after recognizing it as a viable, confidential entity for reporting sexual harassment in the state workplace and with the hope that resolution could open up space for the community to focus on some real issues at hand.

There may be more to come.  Wong continues:

Second, I would like to thank and applaud the courageous women who also filed complaints with the Ethics Commission. Several found me after the news about my complaint became public. In this current culture, not one of them is in a place where they feel they can safely disclose their identities at this time. This is significant.




TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii