Honolulu Council Member Slapped with Record $6,500 Ethics Fine

Adrienne LaFrance/Civil Beat

Honolulu City Council member Nestor Garcia broke a record Monday. And it’s probably one he wishes he hadn’t.

Garcia, who is winding down his second term and not running for any political office this fall, was fined $6,500 by the Honolulu Ethics Commission for breaking conflict of interest rules and misusing city resources while acting as the executive director of the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce, a side job that pays him $60,000 a year.

The fine is the largest in the history of the Ethics Commission. It's more than triple the $2,000 penalty levied against infamous former council member Rod Tam, who improperly spent nearly $12,000 of city money on meals that had nothing to do with business and was later convicted of theft and other charges.

According to the Ethics Commission, Garcia failed to disclose that he worked for the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce before voting on 52 bills or resolutions that the business group had testified on in front of the council.

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