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Friday, March 5, 2010
Djou: Tam should resign and be prosecuted
By News Release @ 1:22 AM :: 6468 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12

COUNCILMEMBER DJOU: TAM SHOULD RESIGN AND BE PROSECUTED

Honolulu City Councilmember Charles K. Djou (Waikiki, East Honolulu) reacted to the Ethics Commission’s findings that Councilmember Rod Tam’s misused his contingency fund.

“Rod Tam’s behavior, as chronicled by the Ethics Commission, is simply unacceptable.  Tam has violated the public’s trust and he should resign from the City Council immediately.  I encourage City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle to immediately investigate Tam and prosecute any misconduct to the fullest extent of the law,” stated Djou.  “Integrity is the basic foundation of our democracy.  Rod Tam has repeatedly violated our ethics code and does not deserve to serve in public office.”

Tam was cited today by the Ethics Commission for fraud in abusing his City expense account. 

In 2003, when he first entered the City Council, Tam was cited by the Ethics Commission for abusing his office by selling City permits.

In 2008, Djou led the fight to censure Tam for calling Hispanics “wetbacks.” 

Before entering the City Council, as a State Senator, Tam was sanctioned by the State Ethics Commission for using his official state offices for campaigning.

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RELATED: Ousted Zoning Chair Rod Tam is secret partner in $1 Billion North Shore development hui

READ: 28 page Ethics findings on Tam

KITV VIDEO: Djou calls for Tam resignation 

KITV: Councilmember Rod Tam Fined For Ethics Violations

Former Council Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz changed the contingency allowance procedure several years ago, no longer requiring the council chairman to approve expenses. Instead, each councilmember is given the annual allowance and their expenses are posted on line for the public to review.... 

KITV 4 News raised questions about Tam's large meal expenses back in 2004 and 2007. In 2007, when KITV asked him why one third of his city expense budget paid for 127 meals at places like Zippy's, Up-Town Cafe and Liliha Seafood, he said, "Food helps bring people together. It's the local style."

In 2004, the City Ethics Commission admonished Tam for breaking ethics laws, because he helped to "expedite" building permits before the city's Planning and Permitting Department. It's against city law for city councilmembers to represent clients in front of city departments and agencies. 

Tam, a former state senator, must leave the city council at the end of the year because of term limits. If he follows through on his plans to run for Honolulu mayor this year, he must step down from his council post by the campaign filing deadline in mid July.

 

HR: Hungry Council Member Charges City Taxpayers $22,000 for His Meals

SB: Rod Tam settles ethics complaint over use of City Council fund  (use of word 'settles' implies this is over, nothing to see here)

The complaint stemmed from Tam's use of $22,000 from his contingency fund for meals for himself with other individuals and groups, the commission ruling stated. The funds were used from 2006 to 2009.

ADV: Ethics panel says Tam wrongly billed city for meals (agrees to pay $13,700)

According to the opinion issued today by the Ethics Commission: Council member Tam violated the standards of conduct by charging the city for meals in circumstances where (1) he paid less for the meal than the amount he charged the city; (2) justification for the meals was false; (3) the meal was not directly related to his council member duties; (4) the meal was with his personal business associates; or (5) the meal was with his family members….

Council chairman Todd Apo said Tam volunteered to step down as chairman of the Zoning Committee. Apo accepted that request, and further asked Tam to step down from all other committees.

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