October 21, 2013 •
Honolulu Ethics Commission Seeks to Avoid Future Pay-to-Play Concerns
Honolulu Mayor Caldwell and his transitional team came under the review of the city Ethics Commission recently for potential violations of gift law. The Commission found no violations due to a lack of established ethical guidelines but placed restrictions on future donations for inaugural or transitional purposes.
Safeguards put in place to avoid pay-to-play concerns include mandatory public disclosure of all donations, including the amount of and use for each, prohibition against asking current or prospective city officers or employees to solicit or make contributions, and requiring each donor/contributor to confirm he or she is not a registered lobbyist and has no future business with the city in which the administration is likely to be involved.
The Commission further held donations used to support legitimate government purposes, such as the transition between administrations and the official inaugural ceremony, are gifts to the city.
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