Hawaii State Ethics Commission
The Hawaii State Ethics Commission has five members appointed by the governor. It provides ethical oversight for all state employees and officials. The commission's duties include issuing advisory opinions, investigation of alleged violations of ethics and lobbying laws, as well as providing guidance and education for government officials, employees and citizens regarding ethics in government.
Les Kondo was named executive director of the commission in January 2011. Kondo, a veteran government official and former private litigator, has drawn attention during his tenure at the Ethics Commission.
During the legislative session, for example, he issued an opinion barring lawmakers from accepting $200 tickets to a fundraiser held by the politically influential Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs.
In May, Kondo said members of a state Mortgage Foreclosure Task Force may have violated ethics laws, ruling that task force members are state employees and therefore subject to the state's Ethics Code.