THE CARROLL COX SHOW
NEWS AND COMMENTARY
UPDATE: August 10, 2011 - The Ethics Commission Confirms
Complaint Filed by Carroll Cox
October 24, 2010 -
On May 25, 2010, Honolulu’s mayor, Mufi Hannemann, sent aletter to City Council Chairman Todd Apo reappointing Mr. Andrew Jamila as a member of the City and County of Honolulu’s Planning Commission (letter attached). Mr. Jamila’s new term will expire June 30, 2015. Along with his letter, Mayor Hannemann customarily sent Mr. Jamila’s personal information form for Mr. Apo’s review. The letter and form were also sent to the City Ethics Commission.
The “Appointee Personal Information Form” Mr. Jamila completed and submitted indicated that his employer was Waimanalo Construction, and that the company did not do business with the City and County of Honolulu. He also said he personally did not have any part-time employment, professional activity, or financial interest other than indicated in the previous questions. Nor does he foresee any possible conflict between his present work, financial investments, business transactions, or any other activity which would be incompatible with the proper discharge of his official duties or hinder him from effectively carrying out the duties for which he has been appointed.
What is not clear is whether or not Mr. Jamila and Mayor Hannemann are inadvertently making “honest mistakes” in regards to Jamila’s appointment. What is clear and warrants an ethics complaint is that Mr. Jamila failed to disclose that he is the President and Director of Waimanalo Construction Coalition, whose stated mission is to “assist residents island-wide with employment opportunities in the construction trade / refer to Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Training Program”. The Waimanalo Construction Coalition has a few grants in the amount of $50,000 each from Mayor Hannemann’s Leeward Coast Community Benefits Program for the Waianae Coast. Therefore, it appears that Mr. Jamila was not being truthful by concealing, and not disclosing, that he received grants from the City and County of Honolulu. This relationship places Mr. Jamila and the mayor squarely in the middle of a cover up of sorts. Is the mayor using these grants to pay off Mr. Jamila for favorable votes on matters before the City and County’s Planning Commission?
In order for Mr. Jamila to receive a grant from the City's Leeward Coast Community Benefits Program, Jamila’s organization, the Waimanalo Construction Coalition, had to submit a proposal and have it reviewed by one of two committees whose members are handpicked by Mayor Hannemann. The possibility of a cover up increases because the mayor appointed Ms. Patty Teruya to serve on the selection committee as well as serving as the Mayor’s official Special Events Coordinator. Ms. Teruya not only sits on the selection committee for the City's Leeward Coast Community Benefits Program and is a city employee, she is also a member of the Waimanalo Construction Coalition. Her official title in documents filed with the Hawaii State Dept. of Consumer Affairs identifies Ms. Teruya as “Secretary”. (see attached business rgistrations). DCCA records also show that Ms. Teruya filed as an officer with the Waimanalo Construction Coalition on December 10, 2001. What is not clear is, why did Teruya remove her name in 2007 but reappears on form as an officer in 2008 and 2009. Was this of concern and to avoid scrutiny for the original grant?
On a side note, Ms. Teruya also serves on the board of the Friends of Kapolei Hale, which has received at least $60,000 in grant money from the community.
The mayor’s September 21, 2009, press release named the Waimanalo Construction Coalition as a grantee receiving $50,000 dollars that year. Mr. Jamila’s appointment should be canceled. Ms. Teruya should be reprimanded and made to reimburse the taxpayers the total sum of money granted to the Waimanalo Construction Coalition.
We have filed a Uniform Information Practices Act Request (UIPA) with the City's Department of Community Services and Mr. Ernie Martin, Deputy Director of that department/city council candidate, for documents relating to the grants and the selection committees. They have been asked to expedite the request so that we can get more specifics regarding the case. We were assured by Ernie Martin that there would be no unethical behavior on the part of Ms. Teruya and others because the mayor "hand picks" the grant selection committeee. Maybe so, but Teruya still sits on the board of these organizations. How do you explain two of her organizations getting picked for grants? We suspect the amount may be more than $200,000 based on current information.
We have filed a complaint with the City Ethics Commission and Todd Apo, Chair, Honolulu City Council. We will continue to update you as new developments occur (link to complaint).