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    May 2018
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Hawaii Earns ‘D’ for Judicial Financial Disclosure

The Center for Public Integrity evaluated the disclosure rules for judges in the highest state courts nationwide.

Click to see how your state scored

Click to see how your state scored

The level of disclosure in the 50 states and the District of Columbia was poor, with 43 receiving failing grades, making it difficult for the public to identify potential conflicts of interest on the bench. Despite the lack of information in the public records, the Center’s investigation found nearly three dozen conflicts, questionable gifts and entanglements among top judges around the country. Here’s what the Center found in Hawaii:

total score
62/100

Strengths:

Despite receiving a “D”, Hawaii’s financial disclosure law ranks as sixth best out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The state earned full credit in the accessibility category because it posts financial disclosure records online. Hawaii judges must also report household income beyond their judicial salaries. The state has strong gift-disclosure requirements, as well. In addition to reporting the source of gifts, judges must describe each gift and estimate its value.

Weaknesses:

While the Aloha State requires judges to report their income, they need to do so only in broad dollar ranges, rather than exact amounts. Additionally, judges in Hawaii aren’t required to report reimbursements for travel or other expenses.

Highlights:

Hawaii, unlike most other states, requires judges to report investment transactions. As part of the requirement, judges must disclose the date when they transferred ownership of the investment, as well as the value of the transfer. Hawaii’s disclosure forms also include a section in which judges report the amount of hours they spent attending state-approved judicial education courses.

Read the 2012 reports

How Hawaii scored

Source: Center for Public Integrity analysis of state records, laws. See methodology for details.

 

Special Interest Legislation Introduced by Councilwoman Margaret Wille

Councilwoman Margaret Wille sent out a newsletter yesterday and she had the following special interest legislation that she is introducing at the upcoming council meetings on March 12th and March 13th.

margaretwille

Department of Environmental Management to provide a comprehensive overview of its solid waste programs – Comm. 169 (9:45 am 3/12/13)

I am requesting this presentation so that the Council is not asked to approve solid waste contracts on a piecemeal –case by case basis – without first having a comprehensive understanding of this important responsibility of County government.   

Urging the Mayor to Immediately Implement the West Hawai‘i School Impact Fee – Reso. 75 (10:45 am 3/12/13)

I am introducing this Resolution because of  Mayor Kenoi’s Administration’s on-going refusal to implement DOE’s West Hawaii School Impact Fee program.

Audit of the Police Department’s Receipt, Storage, and Disposal of Evidence – Reso.78  (1 pm 3/12/13)

I am requesting this audit to promote and reinforce trust in government and ensure that all evidence and confiscated property is being properly handled.

Corporation Counsel Conflict of Interest – Reso. 53   (9:20 am 3/13/13)

I introduced this resolution to address the conflict of interest of having one attorney (Corporation Counsel/Lincoln Ashida) have primary responsibility for simultaneously representing the Executive and the Legislative branches of the County government – and at the same time also being a member of the Mayor’s cabinet. A majority of the Council opposed having a separation of representation for the County Council, so this legislation has been forwarded to the full Council with a negative recommendation.

Commission Nominations-

Mr. Oliver “Sonny” Shimaoka of Council District 9 to the County of Hawai‘i Transportation Commission – Comm. 170 (9:15 am 3/12/13)

Other Legislation of Interest

Report of Change Orders Authorized – Comm. 3.5 & 3.6 (1 pm 3/12/13)

There is concern about the large amount of overruns related to contracts with the County – some as high as 8 fold.  

Organic Waste Diversion 10 year contract – Reso 31 (9:20 am 3/13/13)

This is a request for authorization for a long-term contract about an important component of our solid waste program.

To view County Council & Committee TV, link here www.naleo.tv/tv-schedules/channel-52/ To follow state legislation link here www.capitol.hawaii.gov/

Margaret Wille – Council Member, District 9 – North & South Kohala, 64-1067 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kamuela, HI 96743,  PH: 808-887-2069; mwille@co.hawaii.hi.us