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Saturday, December 31, 2011
Mufi Hannemann and Ernie Martin Operative: Patty Teruya Forced out by Ethics Investigation
By Selected News Articles @ 2:10 AM :: 10049 Views :: Honolulu County, Ethics, Politicians

Mufi Hannemann and Ernie Martin Operative: City special events coordinator Patty Teruya Forced out By Ethics Investigation

From Ethics Commission Report:

The Honolulu Ethics Commission (“Commission”) approved a stipulation to settle the claims against a city employee, Patricia A. Teruya. The stipulation required, among other things,that Ms. Teruya resign from her position as the city’s Special Events Coordinator no later than December 31, 2011, in consideration for the dismissal of all claims against Ms. Teruya. The Commission believes that resignation, at a minimum, is justified under the circumstances. Ms.Teruya’s alleged violations were numerous and egregious and, in our opinion, make her unfit for continued employment with the city.

The Commission found probable cause that Ms. Teruya was in violation of the city’s ethics laws. Specifically, RCH Sec. 11-104, for using her city computer to access 2,135 URL’s, store 23 personal documents, and send and receive 174 personal emails for non-city purposes all within the span of several months. The Commission further found probable cause that Ms.Teruya misused her city position and inherent authority over non-profit organizations and vendors to grant favorable treatment to herself and others, by obtaining letters of recommendation to bolster her city employment; obtaining a $150 discount on []; and endorsing her friend for [] contracts at city-sponsored events. Probable cause for a violation exists when the facts and circumstances within one's knowledge and of which one has reasonably trustworthy information are sufficient in themselves to warrant a person of reasonable caution to believe that an offense has been committed.

This advisory opinion is not a decision on the facts and law resulting from a contested case hearing because the matter was settled. Ms. Teruya denies any wrongdoing in violation of the city’s ethics laws, and this settlement is not an admission of any wrongdoing on her part.This opinion reflects the investigation conducted by the Commission’s staff, the positions of Ms.Teruya and describes the specific possible violations of law discovered as a result of the investigation and is rendered pursuant to the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu, Section 3-6.7(c).

Full Text Honolulu Ethics Commission Advisory Opinion No. 2011-8: http://www1.honolulu.gov/ethics/ecnos10399etseqadvisoryopinionno20118redactedfinal1.pdf

Background:

Carroll Cox: Ethics Complaint vs Teruya and Jamila

Carroll Cox: ANOTHER ONE OF HANNEMANN'S "HONEST MISTAKES"?

SA: City special events coordinator resigns after ethics report

Based on an investigation it found probable cause that Teruya:

  • "Misused her city computer privileges by accessing 2,135 non-work related websites over a two-month period;
  • "Sent and received 174 non-work related emails within the span of four months to support her campaign for Council, as well as the campaigns of city and state politicians; to conduct job searches for her boyfriend; to sell her boat; and for personal shopping;
  • "Exploited her authority as Special Events Coordinator over non-profit organizations and vendors to make them submit letters of recommendation to bolster and advance her city career; and
  • "Endorsed her close friend for service contracts for at least eight city-sponsored events to the exclusion of other contractors

KITV: "This comes up as one of the top investigations that we've seen over the last 10 years, in regards to blatant misuse of city resources"

KITV: "Without civil fines, there is no process to make the public whole for extreme misconduct by employees like Ms. Teruya"

KHON: Carroll Cox Calls for Criminal Investigation

Carroll Cox of the Carroll Cox Radio Show alleges Teruya's abuses went beyond what the Ethics Commission investigated.

He says Teruya colluded with city politicians past and present to further their political campaigns.

"She would put on a certain program or function and they would be invited to appear and make presentation and address the crowd while the others were not," said Cox, who is calling for a criminal investigation of Teruya's activities.

Teruya is also the chairwoman of the Nanakuli neighborhood board….

From Sen Mike Gabbard’s Website (link) 

Patty Teruya, Andrew Jamila and Gemma Espression, Mike and Carol

Caption: Patty Teruya, Andrew Jamila and Gemma Espression celebrate with Mike and Carol after his inauguration into the State Senate. Patty and Gemma worked for Mike at the Honolulu City Council from 2003-2005.

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