Ethics: UPW Member Fined for Stealing Sand from DoT Base Yard
From Hawaii State Ethics Commission, April, 2020 (excerpts)
The Hawai‘i State Ethics Commission (“Commission”) has resolved the Investigation of Jayson Baptista (“Respondent Baptista”), Highway Construction Inspector for the State Department of Transportation (“DOT”) Highways Division, for alleged violations of the State Ethics Code, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (“HRS”) chapter 84.
I. Facts Respondent Baptista admitted and declared, under penalty of perjury, that the following facts are true and correct:
a) Respondent Baptista is employed by the DOT Highways Division as a Highway Construction Inspector in Hilo, Hawai‘i, and is required to comply with the State Ethics Code, HRS chapter 84.
b) In 2015, the Department of Land and Natural Resources dredged a large quantity of sand, and the DOT hauled it to a stockpile near its Hilo base yard.
c) On or around September 2015, Respondent Baptista asked a DOT superintendent whether a private individual could take sand from the stockpile for a personal project, and the DOT superintendent told him that removal of the sand was not permitted.
d) On or around September 19, 2015, Respondent Baptista allowed the private individual to take sand from the stockpile, and two dump trucks of sand were taken for use on a private outdoor horse-riding arena.
e) While the sand was being taken, another DOT supervisor who happened to be traveling near the stockpile asked Respondent Baptista whether anyone had authorized removal of the sand. Respondent Baptista replied that the superintendent had allowed the private individual to remove sand from the stockpile, even though Respondent Baptista had been previously told that this was prohibited….
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