The only Republican in the Hawaii state Senate is seeking another four years in office, which is no doubt welcome news to supporters of the longtime lawmaker from Hawaii Kai.

But Slom may have violated the State Ethics Code in making that announcement, since it came from the minority leader’s Senate office — specifically, Maria Calderon in the Senate Minority Research Office.

As an Ethics Commission check list makes clear, there are rules about the use of state resources:

Do not use state time, equipment (computers, e-mail, etc.), facilities, personnel, the state seal, office supplies or other state resources for private business purposes or political campaigning. The term “business” includes non-profit organizations.

The Slom announcement was issued via Calderon’s Capitol email account, at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, and includes the state seal.

“I take full responsibility, and it was an error, yes, on my part,” he said Wednesday.

Sen Sam Slom on floor session1. 3 may 2016
Sen. Sam Slom on the last day of the 2016 legislative session in May. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Slom said the error was “inadvertent,” as he had hoped to inform constituents of his health status since undergoing coronary bypass surgery last month. The email in question notes his “better-than-expected progress in his recovery.”

“I did not look at it as any kind of campaigning,” he said. “I thought it was more informational. There were rumors that I wasn’t going to run again or that Gene Ward was going to run for my seat.”

Ward, a state House Republican from Hawaii Kai, is also seeking re-election.

Slom said he “self reported” his error to Ethics Commission Associate Director Susan Yoza, “and she said she would check it out.”

Yoza said her office typically does not comment on such matters.

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