UPDATED:On July 1, Kirk Caldwell received a 5 percent pay increase as Honolulu mayor. His base salary is now $164,928 a year.
But the mayor draws his biggest paycheck not from city and county taxpayers but from a major financial institution in the state.
Territorial Savings Bank, Hawaii’s fifth-largest bank, paid Caldwell at least $200,000 in 2015, according to the mayor’s financial disclosure form with the city.
Caldwell serves as a director on the bank’s board.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell takes an oath at Honolulu Hale on May 4 as he filed for re-election.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
A Civil Beat analysis of Caldwell’s earlier financial disclosures since 2010, when he served as interim mayor from July 20 to Oct. 11, show that the bank has increased his annual pay substantially.
In 2010 the compensation ranged from $25,000 to $49,999. (The disclosure forms require filers to list dollar amounts in ranges.)
Caldwell did not file a form in 2011, as he was out of office.
Territorial Savings Bank’s office at 1032 Bishop St.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
But in 2012, the year he was elected to a full four-year term, the mayor reported the director’s job paid from $200,000 to $299,999. In 2013 and 2014, the amount ranged from $150,000 to $199,999, but in 2015 it was back up to the higher range.
The hefty salary has the mayor’s top challengers expressing disapproval.
“I think the people deserve a mayor dedicated to and only interested in looking out for the people of the City and County of Honolulu.”— Charles Djou
“He certainly seems to be interested in money,” said former Mayor Peter Carlisle, who said he did not recall accepting compensation other than the mayor’s salary when he served from 2010 to 2012.
Carlisle said he does not currently sit on any board that compensates him. Charles Djou, a former congressman, said the same. Both Carlisle and Djou are running for mayor.
“This is a major institution on Oahu that has a lot of interest in a lot of areas, so it’s problematic,” Djou said of Caldwell’s compensation. “I think the people deserve a mayor dedicated to and only interested in looking out for the people of the City and County of Honolulu, and not necessarily having a fiduciary interest to look elsewhere.”
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The mayor did not make himself available for an interview Tuesday. But his campaign chair, Lex Smith, said that he sought and received an opinion from Chuck Totto, then the city’s Ethics Commission director, in August 2010, when Caldwell was first a candidate for mayor.
“He advised me orally at that time that it would not be a conflict of interest because Territorial does not hold any city funds and has no business with the city,” Smith said.
In June 2012, when Caldwell again was a mayoral candidate, Smith said he again raised the issue with Totto.
“And Chuck wrote me an email with all those same things,” Smith said.
Banking With Territorial
Smith said he did not know whether Caldwell still serves on Territorial’s board, but the bank’s website lists him. Smith also said he didn’t know how much Caldwell was paid.
Caldwell’s financial disclosures show other ties to Territorial.
Those include a joint-interest loan with his wife, Donna Tanoue, for more than $1 million. The loan appears on all five of Caldwell’s filings. The outstanding balance in 2015 was from $600,000 to $699,000.
Smith said he did not think it unusual for the mayor to have taken out such a large loan from Territorial.
“It does not seem odd to me at all, since I know other directors of financial institutions who do their borrowing with this institution as well,” he said.
Smith said Caldwell took out the loan in 2004 — three years before he became a board director.
Update: The mayor also has reported value of interest in stock with Territorial Bancorp, the parent company of Territorial Savings Bank. He reported it as between $900,000 and $999,999 in 2015 but as between $700,000 and $799,999 in 2014.
Meanwhile, an analysis of Caldwell’s contribution reports with the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission showed that 12 of the 15 officers and directors of Territorial Savings donated $36,216 to the mayor’s campaigns from 2010 to the end of last year.
Ralph Nakatsuka, the chief operating officer, and Allan Kitagawa, the president and chief executive officer, donated the most at $9,000 apiece.
None of the Territorial officers or directors had contributed since 2014. The most current campaign finance disclosures are due July 14 and will reflect the first six months of this year.
Caldwell’s wife, Tanoue, is also in the banking business. As a vice chair with the Bank of Hawaii Corp., she reported earning from $700,000 to $799,999 in 2015, according to her husband’s financial disclosure form.
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