Latest Articles

  • Ige’s Interim AG Follows in Predecessor’s Footsteps by Fighting Disclosure Ruling

    · By Nathan Eagle

    Gov. David Ige’s burgeoning administration is following in the footsteps of Gov. Neil Abercrombie when it comes to resisting the release of certain state board members’ financial disclosure statements.

    State lawmakers unanimously passed a bill in April adding 15 boards to the list of those whose members must annually disclose their financial interests. Ige, a member of the Senate at the time, also voiced support for it in his campaign for governor.

    Delaying the release of some of the records through a legal challenge would limit the public’s ability to identify potential conflicts of interest —

  • Hawaii Attorney General to Appeal Financial Disclosure Ruling

    · By Nathan Eagle

    It could be months if not longer before the Hawaii State Ethics Commission releases the financial disclosure statements of certain state board members that a judge ruled last week must be made public in accordance with a new law.

    That’s because Hawaii Attorney General David Louie plans to appeal the court’s decision, which is expected to keep the records private while that lengthy process plays out.

    The five-member commission voted 4-0 on Wednesday to not object to the AG’s move to appeal. Commissioner Melinda Wood abstained. The vote came

  • Court: State Must Release Financial Disclosures for Boards

    · By Nathan Eagle

    Updated 6:50 p.m., 11/12/2014

    First Circuit Judge Rhonda Nishimura has granted Honolulu Civil Beat’s request for a preliminary injunction to require the Hawaii State Ethics Commission to make public the financial disclosure statements of certain state board members.

    Nishimura ruled from the bench on Wednesday morning in a case brought by the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest on behalf of the news outlet.

    “The Legislature found that the public has an overriding interest in the release of financial disclosure statements by members of the state’s 15

  • Hawaii State Employees Pay the Price for Taking Free Rounds of Golf

    · By Nathan Eagle

    Twenty-one state employees have agreed to pay a combined $16,500 in fines for accepting free rounds of golf from private contractors, consultants and vendors, according to a settlement with the Hawaii State Ethics Commission.

    The resolution issued Monday by the commission does not name any of the state employees, instead only identifying them by department and position. The settlement does, however, list the 15 firms that the commission believes provided the free rounds of golf, tournament entry fees, drinks and food.

    The biggest offenders were four Department of Transportation

  • Hawaii Ethics Commission Won’t Budge on Releasing Financial Disclosures

    · By Nathan Eagle

    UPDATED 9/25/2014, 2:30 p.m.

    The Hawaii State Ethics Commission on Wednesday reaffirmed its decision to withhold the financial disclosure statements of more than 100 current state board members who filed their annual reports before a new law took effect July 8.

    The law added 15 powerful boards to the list of those that already must disclose their financial interests publicly. But there’s an ongoing debate over whether it should apply to members who filed their disclosure statements before it took effect.

    Ethics Commission Executive Director Les Kondo has interpreted

  • Hawaii Ethics Commission Urged to Release Board Members’ Financial Disclosures

    · By Nathan Eagle

    The Hawaii State Ethics Commission will consider a request this week by Civil Beat and the League of Women Voters to release the financial disclosure statements of dozens of powerful state board members. 

    The news outlet and good-government group want the documents filed by members of the 15 boards that the Legislature unanimously required to publicly disclose their financial interests. Civil Beat has filed a public records request for the disclosure statements of current members of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, Land Use Commission and Agribusiness Development Corporation. That

  • Four UH Regents File New Financial Disclosure Reports

    · By Nathan Eagle

    For the first time, the public is privy to the annual financial disclosure reports filed by members of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents.

    Well, at least four of the 15 members who filed their required reports  since a new law took effect July 8. The other regents’ records will remain sealed under a unanimous ruling last week by the Hawaii State Ethics Commission.

    The new law adds 15 state boards to the list of those whose members have to publicly disclose their financial interests. They include the Board of Regents,

  • Hawaii Ethics Commission Seals Financial Disclosures for Current Board Members

    · By Nathan Eagle

    The public won’t see the financial disclosure statements filed by most of the current members of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, Public Utilities Commission, Hawaii Community Development Authority or 12 other powerful state boards until next summer at the earliest.

    The Hawaii State Ethics Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to keep the reports confidential for the members who filed before July 8 of this year, the day a new law took effect adding 15 boards to the list of those that must publicly disclose their financial interests.

    The

  • Hawaii Grassroots Groups Grab Attention of State Ethics Commission

    · By Anita Hofschneider

    UPDATED Several groups still haven’t submitted required reports on their donors and expenses.

  • State Board Members Resist Releasing Financial Disclosure Forms to Public

    · By Nathan Eagle

    House committee to hear bill Thursday that would require 16 boards to make financial disclosure statements public.