High-level state employees have agreed to pay thousands of dollars in fines to settle allegations by the Hawaii Ethics Commission that for years they accepted free rounds of golf from top private firms who had business before the state.

The lengthy investigation wrapped up this week with a formal resolution of charges against nine state employees plus a notice that cases against 21 other public workers were resolved after they paid administrative fines.

Les Kondo, Executive Director of the Hawaii State Ethics Commission speaks during Commission meeting.  5.21.14 ©PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Les Kondo, executive director of the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, speaks during a meeting last year.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

The commission named eight of the nine state employees who had formal charges filed against them. They include:

  • Marshall Ando, Department of Transportation, Harbors Division, Engineering Branch, Design Section Head: Administrative Penalty, $7,500
  • Gerobin Carnate, Department of Transportation, Highways Division, Materials Testing and Research Branch, Structural Materials Section Head: Administrative Penalty, $6,000
  • Brian Kashiwaeda, University of Hawaii, Community Colleges Facilities and Environmental Health Office, Director: Administrative Penalty, $3,200
  • Brian Minaai, University of Hawaii, Associate Vice President for Capital Improvements: Administrative Penalty, $3,000
  • Eric Nishimoto, Department of Accounting and General Services, Public Works Division, Project Management Branch Chief: Administrative Penalty, $5,600
  • Alvin Takeshita, Department of Transportation, Highways Division, Highways Division Administrator; Prior Engineering Program Manager, Traffic Branch Head: Administrative Penalty, $5,750
  • David Tamanaha, University of Hawaii-Maui College Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs: Administrative Penalty, $1,750
  • Jadine Urasaki, Department of Transportation, Deputy Director for Capital Improvement Projects; Prior Department of Education Facilities Development Branch, Public Works Manager: Administrative Penalty, $1,500

An engineer with the Department of Agriculture who used to work with the Department of Land and Natural Resources was able to just pay $1,000 and not have his/her name disclosed because he/she later gave the Ethics Commission information that he/she paid for some of the golf outings.

Of course, it takes two (at least) to tango into this world for the ethically challenged.

Here’s the list of firms that offered free golf to the state employees:

  • Akinaka & Associates
  • Ameron Hawaii
  • Awa & Associates
  • Bert S. Mitsunaga
  • Bowers + Kubota
  • Cement and Concrete Products Industry of Hawaii
  • Central Construction
  • Community Planning & Engineering
  • Design Partners
  • Grace Pacific
  • Hawaiian Cement
  • Island Ready-Mix Concrete
  • KAI Hawaii
  • Kihei Gardens and Landscaping Company
  • KSF
  • Masonry Institute of Hawaii
  • Mitsunaga & Associates
  • Next Design
  • Okahara and Associates
  • Parsons Brinckerhoff
  • R. M. Towill Corporation
  • Ronald N. S. Ho & Associates
  • S. Nakagawa Mechanical Consultants

Read the complete report from the Ethics Commission below.

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