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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 19, 2010

Ethics panel probe criticized

By Herbert A. Sample
Associated Press

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Dan Mollway

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The lawyer for the longtime head of the state Ethics Commission yesterday criticized the panel for initiating a review of her client's management of the agency and his interaction with commissioners.

In a closed meeting Wednesday, the commission formed a two-person subcommittee to delve into Executive Director Dan Mollway's leadership of the small agency and his relationship with commissioners, Chairwoman Maria Sullivan said.

Sullivan said in an interview yesterday that the subcommittee will be composed of herself and fellow commissioner Dr. David Randell.

"It will take several weeks for the subcommittee to gather the facts and report back to the full commission," Sullivan said, reading from a statement.

Mollway began a 30-day leave on Feb. 10, the day the commission met for several hours to discuss his fate, Sullivan said.

She would not disclose the nature of the leave.

Meanwhile, Associate Director Susan Yoza is heading the office, Sullivan said.

Susan Ichinose, Mollway's lawyer, said she and her client registered strong objections about the subcommittee's formation during Wednesday's closed meeting, though she would not detail the substance of those complaints.

"We regard this particular action of the commission to be uncalled for," Ichinose said. She said Mollway is facing no misconduct allegations "that would support the creation of this type of review."

After the commission's Feb. 10 meeting, Sullivan said the panel appreciated Mollway's long and committed tenure at the agency. "There is absolutely no issue of misconduct involved," the chairwoman said, reading from a statement.

Mollway started at the agency as associate director in 1981 and was promoted to executive director in 1986.