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Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Ethics: HDoT Employee hard at Work--on his own yard
By News Release @ 11:36 PM :: 2442 Views :: Ethics

COMMISSION RESOLVES INVESTIGATION OF TWO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EMPLOYEES FOR PERSONAL USE OF STATE EQUIPMENT

From Hawaii State Ethics Comm, Nov 19, 2020

Resolution of Investigation 2020-7: Randy Keopuhiwa

The Hawai‘i State Ethics Commission (“Commission”) has resolved the investigation of Randy Keopuhiwa (“Respondent Keopuhiwa”), Carpenter I, O‘ahu District, Highways Division, Department of Transportation (“DOT”), for alleged violations of the State Ethics Code, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (“HRS”) chapter 84.

The Commission received a complaint that Respondent Keopuhiwa used state equipment – specifically, a DOT Bobcat skid-steer – at his personal residence. The Commission investigated this matter and entered into a settlement agreement to resolve this investigation without further administrative proceedings.

I. Facts

Respondent Keopuhiwa admitted and declared, under penalty of perjury, that the following facts are true and correct:

1 a) Respondent Keopuhiwa is employed as a Carpenter I, O‘ahu District, Highways Division, DOT, and is required to comply with the State Ethics Code, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes chapter 84.

b) On or around November 2, 2020, Respondent Keopuhiwa used a DOT truck and trailer, while on state time (i.e., while on work time for DOT), to take DOT equipment – a Bobcat skid-steer (“Bobcat”) – to his personal residence in Nānākuli. Respondent Keopuhiwa then used the Bobcat to clear rocks, mud, and other debris from his personal residence.

c) Prior to taking the Bobcat to his personal residence, Respondent Keopuhiwa asked Robert Chang, Construction and Maintenance Superintendent of the O‘ahu District, DOT-Highways (“Superintendent Chang”), whether he (Respondent Keopuhiwa) could store the Bobcat at his personal residence. At the time, DOT-Highways was working on a multi-day project close to Respondent Keopuhiwa’s personal residence in Nānākuli; Respondent Keopuhiwa reasoned that storing the Bobcat in Nānākuli would be easier than returning the Bobcat to the DOT baseyard near the Honolulu Airport at the end of the workday and then towing it back to Nānākuli again the next day. Superintendent Chang agreed that Respondent Keopuhiwa could store the Bobcat at his personal residence.

d) Respondent Keopuhiwa also asked Superintendent Chang whether he (Respondent Keopuhiwa) could use the Bobcat to clear debris from his personal residence. Respondent Keopuhiwa is licensed to operate the Bobcat. Superintendent Chang agreed.

e) Over the course of several days – from approximately November 2, 2020 to November 10, 2020 – Respondent Keopuhiwa used the DOT Bobcat to clear debris from the Nānākuli property where he has his personal residence….

…Respondent Keopuhiwa to pay an administrative penalty of $1,500…. 

read … Full Report

Resolution of Investigation 2020-8: Robert Chang

c) Respondent Chang has supervisory authority over DOT Carpenter I Randy Keopuhiwa, though Mr. Keopuhiwa does not report directly to Respondent Chang.

d) On or around November 2, 2020, DOT-Highways was working on a multiday project close to Mr. Keopuhiwa’s personal residence in Nānākuli. Among other equipment, DOT-Highways was using a Bobcat skid-steer (“Bobcat”) to perform the work for the State of Hawai‘i.

e) In late October or early November 2020, Mr. Keopuhiwa asked Respondent Chang whether he (Mr. Keopuhiwa) could store the Bobcat at his personal residence in Nānākuli. Mr. Keopuhiwa reasoned that storing the Bobcat in Nānākuli would be easier than returning the Bobcat to the DOT baseyard near the Honolulu Airport at the end of the workday and then towing it back to Nānākuli again the next day. Respondent Chang agreed that Mr. Keopuhiwa could store the Bobcat at his personal residence.

f) Mr. Keopuhiwa then asked Respondent Chang whether he (Mr. Keopuhiwa) could use the Bobcat to clear debris at his personal residence. Mr. Keopuhiwa is licensed to operate the Bobcat. Respondent Chang agreed.

g) Thereafter, Mr. Keopuhiwa used a DOT truck and trailer, while on state time (i.e., while on work time for DOT), to take the Bobcat to his personal residence in Nānākuli. Over the course of several days in early November 2020, Mr. Keopuhiwa used the Bobcat at his personal residence….

…Respondent Chang to pay an administrative penalty of $1,000….  

read … Full Report

Coverage:

CB: Hawaii DOT Employees Fined For Taking State Equipment Off The Job

SA: 2 Hawaii Department of Transportation employees to pay fines for personal use of highway equipment

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