A maintenance worker with the Department of Land and Natural Resource’s Boating and Recreation Division is being charged with state ethics violations for misusing state funds, lying about disposing of equipment and conflicts of interest, according to a resolution from the Hawaii State Ethics Commission.
Bruce Kelekoma, the maintenance worker in DOBAR’s Kauai office, got four new tires and a new alignment for his truck using $2,753 of state money in 2014, the resolution said, adding that his boss, former DLNR manager Joseph Borden, bought the parts for him with a state card.
Kelekoma also took the tires off a 2003 GMC truck that was damaged from an accident and scheduled for disposal, the resolution said.
In 2017, Kelekoma bought two stoplight bulbs and a parking light bulb using state funds for his 1996 Nissan pickup, and in 2017, he told DLNR employees under his supervision to cut kiawe wood for his personal use, the resolution said.
The Ethics Commission is expected to fine Kelekoma $4,500 for those violations, among others. He’s still employed, but was referred to DLNR for further action.
Kelekoma is the fourth DLNR employee on Kauai to be slapped with ethics violations in recent months. The others include Borden, who has since left, as well as Kathy Rosare and Manuel Andrade, who are both still employed at DLNR.
Blaze Lovell is a reporter for Civil Beat and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was born and raised on Oahu. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @blaze_lovell