month ago, I wrote
about some problems Honolulu's ethics
program was having with the corporation counsel. The problems have
continued. The big issue this last week has been the corporation
counsel's provision of ethics advice. So far, the argument has
primarily taken place in the form of memos.
The corporation counsel responded in an October 25 memo to questions
directed to it by the city's EC in April and September. Then on
December 2, the corporation counsel sent another memo, based on this
earlier memo, to the mayor, managing director, and department and
agency heads. The bottom line of both memos (attached; see below) is
that the corp. counsel has not only the power, but the duty to
provide ethics advice to all of the city's officers and employees.
In two memos dated December 6 (attached; see below), the EC's
executive director and legal counsel (one person) explained why this
was problematic and asked that city officers and employees get their
ethics advice only from the EC.
The corporation counsel is wrong. She is wrong in so many ways,
I will simply list the reasons the EC's executive director includes
in his memo, and then add more reasons of my own. (If you want more than a list, read the first of
the executive director's two memos and then come back here for more.)