The Hawaii Supreme Court has cleared Connections New Century Public Charter School employee Eric Boyd of ethics violations stemming from 2006.
The court ordered the Hawaii State Ethics Commission to dismiss the case that its former executive director, Les Kondo, brought against Boyd.
The justices determined there were two conflicting state statutes governing standards of conduct involving conflicts of interest for charter school employees, and that Boyd was exempt because of this inconsistency.
Ted Hong, Boyd’s attorney, said in a statement that the Ethics Commission’s former leadership should have listened to their arguments “instead of ruining Eric’s life and dragging his name through the mud” for the past six years.
The commission charged Boyd in 2010 with 26 counts of violating the state Ethics Code. In 2012, the commission reduced it to 20 counts. After a two-day hearing, the commission found Boyd had violated the Ethics Code and imposed a $10,000 fine.
The strongest counts involved Boyd — the school’s administrative assistant who also owns and runs a food service business with his wife — signing off on payments to himself for providing hundreds of school meals and selling thousands of dollars worth of electronics equipment to the school.
The case involved a $100,000-a-year contract for the food services alone at the Hilo-based K-12 school, which enrolls more than 350 students. It was the commission’s first contested case in 27 years.
On appeal, the 3rd Circuit Court reduced the number of violations to nine and dropped the fine to $4,500, but then last year the Intermediate Court of Appeals denied Boyd’s appeal and reinstated all charges and penalties.
“The lesson of my case is to fight for what you believe in and it is something I teach my kids everyday,” Boyd said in a statement.
Read the court decision below.
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